Google Checkout launched in the UK

Search giant adds payment to its existing portfolio of e-commerce services

Google has made its online payment service available to retailers in the UK.

Google Checkout allows online shoppers to enter their payment details once, then use their Google login to pay at all participating sites. It has been available in the US since last summer, but was launched in the UK on Friday.

"[It's] great news for retailers because shoppers will have a better experience when visiting their sites," said Google's senior product manager Jerry Dischler, who claimed that thousands of retailers and millions of shoppers had been using the service since its US launch.

Google Checkout also ties in closely with the firm's Adwords service, which lets businesses put short, targeted, text-based advertisements alongside Google users' search results. Although businesses do not have to be Adwords users to use Google Checkout, those who do will see a Checkout icon appear on their ads — a feature that Google claims will attract shoppers who are seeking an "easy and trusted payment option".

As an extra incentive for businesses to use both services, Google is offering to process £10 of a retailer's sales for free for every £1 the retailer spends on Adwords.

From the shopper's perspective, those without existing Google Checkout logins are able to create them while visiting the retailer's site. Shoppers can also view their transaction history through one page, and — as with Google Checkout's main rival, Paypal — can use the service to avoid giving online retailers direct access to their card details.

Several e-commerce providers such as EKM Systems, Imano and ChannelAdvisor have integrated Google Checkout into their own platforms, although some of these providers have similar deals with PayPal.

Last year the online auction site eBay, which owns PayPal, banned its users from selling goods using Google Checkout. Although many claimed this was simply to protect PayPal, eBay alleged it was because Checkout — and certain other payment applications — did not meet eBay's rigorous standards.