This last month Google released their Google Checkout service. Recently there was a lot of speculation over what this service actually was, several people were saying that this was going to be similar to Paypal, but now we know for sure. I had my first experience with this new Google site yesterday when I was looking for a replacement Omni-directional antenna for my wireless router. I ended up going with a D-Link antenna since that was the make of my router, and I didn't want any issues with connecting it, but I noticed it on Buy.com. When I went to checkout at the bottom of the page I noticed the 'Google Checkout' link.
I am always eager to try new things, especially things developed by Google. Mainly I do this to see whether or not Google is actually improving on existing technology or if they are just creating a new product that offers the same service that is already available. One of the interesting features that I found in Google checkout over any existing product out there was the 'Keep my email address confidential' check box that they have at the bottom of the order form. Unlike Paypal or Amazon.com they keep your e-mail address from the sellers, so you don't receive the usual amount of spam after your purchase. C-Net has actually provided a few images of Google Checkout.
After reviewing their site and service, even making a purchase from it, I would have to rate this as an improvement over what is currently on the market. Now the real question is what Amazon and other sites who provide a similar service going to do to make their service more appealing? I think the best part about Google Checkout, is the integration with the rest of the Google services, since I already use Google for a wide variety of searches, it is starting to become like Wal-Mart, it's a great one stop shop for the basic needs on the Internet. Another great feature about this service is the ability to check your past purchases, regardless of the vendor that you purchased it from. This means that even though you buy 10 different items from 8 different stores, as long as you used Google Checkout, you can still check your past activity.
Some might say this is already going too far, since Google already knows what you search for, and maps for places you like to go, and now shopping history for what you like to buy. The way I look at the current way Google is moving, this is a great way to only improve their other services like Ad Sense and target ads to what people really enjoy, not only what they search for.