Online search giant Google today launched its Google Checkout payment service in the UK. Google Checkout is posed to take on mainstream card processing systems used by many online retailers, as well as PayPal , the payment system used on auction site eBay .

Until now, Google Checkout has only been available to buyers and sellers in the US, where PayPal remains the biggest payments system. Google Checkout processes regular credit and debit card transactions, and promises to "simplify the process" by storing card data and shipping information on a central server.

"If you're tired of waiting online, then try Google Checkout. Online shopping is made easier, faster and safer" said Google senior product manager Jerry Dischler. "You only need to go through the trouble of entering your payment details once and then you can surf and shop 'til your fingers drop at dozens of online retailers.

"It's also great news for retailers because shoppers will have a better experience when visiting their sites. Since it was launched in the United States last summer, thousands of online retailers and millions of shoppers have started using Checkout. UK shoppers and retailers can now enjoy all the same benefits."

Google calls the payment system "the conclusion of the transaction cycle" where consumers find retailers through searches and advertising through its search engine. From now until 2008, merchants that offer Google Checkout in the UK will receive free credit and debit card processing for all sales using the system. Google is also offering £10 off to buyers placing orders over £30.

The payment service will be available alongside other payment methods offered by retailers, Google said.