The Goliath of internet search engines, Google, announced recently that it would be going head-to-head with the colossus of online shopping, PayPal, as it releases its own online shopping facility in the UK.
Previously, the BBC
reports, the Google Checkout service had only been available to buyers and sellers in the US and this is the first time it has been released in the UK.
The Google Checkout system is intended to compete with card processing services, as well as the massively used online system, PayPal. It will also boost Google's income by allowing its advertisers to use its order processing facilities at a cheap rate.
Google Checkout, originally called GBuy by bloggers, was initially launched in June 2006 for the US.
Some are skeptical of Google Checkouts ability to replace the ubiquitous PayPal however. A recent survey carried out at the end of last year revealed that in America Google Checkout was used in just 2% of end-to-end payment services, that is services that do not use a retailers own systems.
The BBC reports that the unveiling of Google Checkout was fraught with early hitches and Checkouts senior product manager for Europe acknowledged that "There were plenty of sleepless nights going up to the launch."
Google is confident however that that Checkout will be secure and steadfast against cases of online fraud, promising to 'make buyers whole'
and represent retailers when things go wrong.
If you've had a chance to use Google Checkout yet, or are simply peeved at how Google is seeping into too many facets of modern living, then let us know in the forums