FreshBooks now supports Google Checkout

Today we are pleased to announce that FreshBooks now supports Google Checkout. Google Checkout integration is something people have been asking for for a long time, and it gives us great pleasure to roll it out today.

Google Checkout is a payment gateway like PayPal or Authorize.Net, and you can use it to collect online payments from your clients when you send them a FreshBooks invoice. The cost to use Google Checkout is 2% + $0.20 per transaction for businesses who do not use Google Adwords. For those business that have Google Adwords accounts, Google Checkout is free on sales of up to 10 times your monthly AdWords spend.

To enable Google Checkout in your FreshBooks account:

1. Log in to your account.
2. Click “Settings” in the top right hand corner.
3. Click “Enable Online Payment” from the 3rd Party Services Section
4. Scroll down to Google Checkout, enter your merchant ID and key, check off enabled and save the page.

It’s very important that you read the set up instructions carefully – you must enter the postback url in your seller account or nothing will work. Also you should know, Google gives purchasers a 15 minute window to cancel their purchases, and therefore payments will take at least 15 minutes to clear. We handle this in your account with invoice statuses – the “pending” status indicates we’re waiting for a response from Google.

Once you have done all that your invoices will provide the option to receive payment by via Google Checkout. If you want to accept payment via Google Checkout for invoices you have created previously, you’ll have to edit each one and check the “Google Checkout” box.

Please note Google Checkout is only available in the US and the UK (Canada, you’ve been shafted again) and you will not even see Google Checkout as a payment gateway option unless your FreshBooks account currency is USD or GBP. Please also note, you cannot do recurring billing (where your client’s credit cards are automatically charged at intervals of your choosing) with Google Checkout. You can do recurring billing with these gateways: Authorize.Net, Landmark, iTransact, Linkpoint and PsiGate. FreshBooks also supports the following non-recurring billing capable gateways: PayPal Payflow Pro, PayPal Website Payments Pro, PayPal and 2Checkout.

We’ve updated the Google Checkout integration to mark all payments coming from FreshBooks as digital content. As a result there is no longer shipping information during the checkout. This allows transactions to clear much faster (i.e. less than a minute in most cases).

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  • William Lang

    Good news and bad news. The good news first – this is awesome! So long PayPal. The bad news – what is left to discuss in the forums?

  • Steven


    Will the customer get anything from Freshbooks then?

    Will this eliminate a client email, then log in and then pay through the FB interface?

  • Deb Robison

    This is great! I don’t use google adwords though and am having trouble finding a way to set up Checkout without it. (Don’t want to use adwords.)

  • Justin

    Hi Deb,

    Have you tried


  • Mike McDerment

    @steven – I’m not 100% sure I am understanding you completely, but Google Checkout works like any other FreshBooks gateway (Paypal, Authorize, etc). Your client will receive an email from you sent via FreshBooks. When they click the link they will have an option to “Pay” the invoice. When they do, that will be facilitated by Google Checkout.

    Make sense?

  • FreshRandy

    @William Lang I’m sure there will always be a “Google Checkout” purple elephant to discuss on the forums :)

  • Stephanie M. Cockerl

    This is great news! I have a few clients who are hesitant about PayPal, so this will help the cause.

  • Chad Wagner

    William, I love your 1st comment… what’s left to discuss in the forums now :) I read the email and post about this with a sigh of relief… now I don’t have any more requests, I hated generating an invoice at freshbooks and then jumping to google checkout to mail an invoice separately referencing freshbooks invoice Number.

    One question. Can you guys add a flash video of the checkout process with google checkout so that we can see what the customers will see, and also refer customers who are not familiar yet with the process to watch it from start to finish (receiving an email invoice, following the link to freshbooks, going to the invoice, then …. you know)?


  • Mike McDerment

    @chad – honestly, what i”d recommend is sending yourself a test invoice and paying it so you can confirm you’ve set up your GCO account correctly. Just my two cents, video idea noted for sure.

  • Alex

    Awesome! Thanks for adding this feature. It seems like the biggest advantages of Google Checkout over Paypal are:

    1) client does not need to click “return to site” button in order for the payment to be reflected automatically in Freshbooks
    2) The slightly lower % fee per transaction

    Google Checkout users: Are there any other key advantages I am missing?

    I am really looking forward to adding this service to my billing. Thanks again.

  • Deb Robison

    Thanks Justin! I had logged in through my gmail account which had me set up to buy and the only sell option was through adwords. :-)

  • Deb Robison

    One more question, does the callback method – XML or HTML – matter?

  • Deb Robison

    wait, nevermind, I found the answer. It is XML.


    Hi the only problem with Google’s CheckOut they don’t accept Canada at all.

  • Deb Robison

    I’d like to second Chad’s question- can we see a video, or slides that show what the customer experiences as they check out.

  • Rich

    This is great news :) Thanks for listening to everyone’s requests and implementing it. Now, I just need to do some actual work so I can invoice some more people and try it out…

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  • Huck

    So, does Google end up cut’n a check at the end of each month? How does this work? As I sign up they ask me for MY credit card and SS#…or EIN

  • CAM

    really need the google checkout recurring billing. we need to charge client monthly automatically without requesting credit card authorization each month. works with paypal but the fees are outrageous.

  • Jim Sefton

    Thanks guys, this is just what I have been wanting for a long time.

    I agree with CAM that recurring billing would be awesome, although I know nothing about the logistics of implementing it from your side.

    Great work guys

  • Mike McDerment

    @cam and @jim – recurring billing is not an option with the google checkout gateway (or PayPal for that matter) and won’t be. It actually has nothing to do with us. You need to use or PSIgate if you want do do recurring billing.

  • Mike McDerment

    Update: we rolled out an upgrade to this integration this morning and now transactions clear faster using Google Checkout. I’ve added and update to the post above.

  • Justin
  • leslye

    Yay. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Thanks!!
    @huck – it usually takes 2 days for the payments to transfer to your bank account if you set it up…


    The best way to accept a payment is they take $25 dollars for there fee of up to around $450 in an order and it goes up $1.00 or so when its more then $450 to bad FreshBooks does not accept them but Ebay does accept them and people are accepting it you will save at the end there are no month to month billing to use there services or sign up fee’s

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  • MikeyLikesIt

    I have a Google Apps account for my business. I’d like to use that account to do Google Checkout setup, but I can’t figure out how to setup Google Checkout on my Google Apps account. I’ve searched for solution, but have had no success. Any idea?

  • Justin Giancola

    Have you tried entering the email address associated with your Google Apps account in the Google Checkout signup at ?


  • Cinda

    I’d like to echo the request for a video (or at least screen shots) showing each part of the process so we can see what our clients will see.

    As a consultant, my office is in my home…which means all my credit cards share the same mailing address. When trying to do a test run on my own, Google refuses to accept the payment, with an error message saying you can’t send money to yourself.

    Would reeeeeeeally like to know what the client sees after they hit the “pay” link, as well as how the process moves into Freshbooks from there.

  • Phil Ingle

    ANy idea when this will be available for people in france using euros?

  • Andy

    I won’t allow Google to pull my credit report at any time they wish (have you read the User Agreement???).

    Paypal or authorize are always preferred.

  • Bob

    Can anyone tell me when checkout will be available for people in Canada. It has the best Donation feature that I have found and I would really like to use it.

  • Jacob

    Hi all –

    I’m wondering about the 3% transaction fee from google, and if there’s any way to automatically add 3% to an invoice if a client opts to pay online?

    I would prefer to pass that cost on to the client, but only to clients that want to pay online, and not increase all invoice totals by 3%. Thoughts/ideas?


    Punch Drunk Productions

  • eque

    Would have been perfect if Google could do recurring payments…. without that feature it’s pointless for my business !

  • Kelly

    I would like to let people know that Google has contacted me about a public business webpage URL, even though I checked the box that says I do not have one. The reason is because Freshbooks uses a Google checkout button instead of an invoice, which means that Google requires you to have a public business website URL in your settings.

  • Anil

    Actually, Google checkout does provide subscription (recurring payments) API now. It would be very useful and cost effective if FreshBooks were to offer us this option