Google has finally launched a UK version of its Checkout online payments processing platform.

The service is designed to compete with PayPal in the market to mediate customer-to-merchant transactions.

Mimicking a US promotion, Google is offering retailers free transaction handling via the system for a year.

“We’re excited to tell you that, as of this morning, the speed, security and convenience of Google Checkout are available to online shops and shoppers in the United Kingdom,”
wrote senior product manager Jerry Dischler.

“In the United States, thousands of sellers and millions of buyers have already taken advantage of this exciting new checkout process. Now, shops in the UK can offer Google Checkout to their customers and benefit from increased sales, higher conversion rates, and lower transaction processing costs.

“And just so buyers don’t feel left out, we’re giving them £10 off all orders over £30.”

In a write-up with some frank comments from the search giant, BBC News reports Google will also offer £10 of free processing for every £1 spend on AdWords advertising.

But Google will have its work cut out challenging the big daddy of online payments handling.

PayPal has been operating since 1999 and, after being bought by eBay in 2002, enjoys a leading 25% market share, even though most transactions are still direct card payments.

Google Checkout also does not allow person-to-person transactions and is designed for consumer-to-merchant payments only.