Google announces Google Checkout

Yesterday's rumors were off by a day and got the name wrong, but Google has finally introduced an online payment system today under the Google Checkout moniker. As expected, Google doesn't present the service as a direct competitor to PayPal. Instead, the company says Google Checkout is meant to simplify online shopping by letting users log into online stores with their Google credentials, eliminating the customary steps of signing up and entering shipping and credit card information for each new store visited. As such, Google Checkout isn't merely a solution for small stores unable to take credit cards; Google pitches it as a full-fledged intermediary for all online shopping. Initial partners include Jockey, Starbucks Store, Levi's, Dockers,, Timberland, and Zales. Google says its main priority is to help other stores join in. The service is integrated with AdWords, too, offering advertisers an incentive to participate.

For curious users, Google has put up a video tour of Google Checkout on the website. Merchants can also view a "Why Google Checkout?" video that tries to sell them in on the service.

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