Google Owns Up to Rumours: 'Checkout' is for Real

Dennis Faas's picture

After weeks of speculation, Google has finally introduced "Google Checkout", its first foray into the world of online payment systems. Although Google refused to confirm such rumors, it has today gone ahead with a program that is most comparable with Microsoft's "Passport" service. Both systems use a single login name to allow users a payment method with a host of participating online vendors.

The greatest difference between Google's Checkout and Microsoft's Passport are the time and, obviously, the company.

In recent months, Microsoft has scaled back its Passport service considerably. Passport was first introduced in 2001, at the same time as the United States Justice Department was investigating Microsoft for antitrust purposes. Bad press on a number of issues -- then and now -- have prevented Microsoft from expanding Passport, and by all accounts, it seems they've given up. (Source:

Google's Checkout appears to be headed in a different direction. Google's popularity and power has never been greater, and Checkout remains one of many new directions the company has announced or is considering. Most speculation into Checkout anticipates that it will not decay like Passport, but may actually grow into a legitimate competitor for eBay's payment partner, PayPal.

PayPal and online auction powerhouse eBay may not be as invincible as once believed. It was recently reported that Jeff Jordan, president of PayPal, was leaving the company for "family reasons". The fallout from Jordan's resignation has forced a frenzied restructuring of eBay's own management, leading to an optimal opportunity for Google to announce its possible future alternative. (Source:

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