On Thursday, Google released their long-rumored Checkout service. This new service allows shoppers with a Google Checkout account to pay for merchandise at a long list of retailers. This isn’t quite the PayPal killer (at least at this time) that it was rumored to be. It’s more of a shopping cart system that can be added to your merchant site so you don’t have to directly deal with credit card processing. It’s probably most similar to what Amazon does now when a merchant sells their merchandise through them. A buy has the confidence that the business is legit because Amazon is behind it, and they don’t need to register a login at 100 different places since their one and only Google account has all the credit card information built right in. So in that sense, as a buyer, I think this is a good thing. Hopefully they eventually move this service into the PayPal online wallet/bank account type arena as well. Lord knows PayPal needs the competition, since they’re really one of the only games in town when it comes to buying items in online auctions. Like every new Google venture, it’ll be interesting to see where this one goes.