As reported on the BBC site, Google has announced that it is opening up its Google Checkout service to the UK.

Google Checkout is the search giant’s payment processing system that goes head to head with some of the larger, more established services such as PayPal, which remains the dominant payment processing service.

It has been available in the US since last summer (06) but has only now been rolled out in the UK and there are no official dates mentioned for additional European territories.

Of particular interest to Google Adwords customers is the offer of £10 free payment processing for every £1 spent on Adwords advertising. That offer starts on January 1st 2008 but Google is currently offering its merchants free payment processing for the rest of 2007. More information available on the Google Checkout site.

It will be interesting to see how many merchants adopt the service but expect a tough battle with PayPal. As noted on the Guardian site last July, eBay was quick to ban its users from using Google’s payment service. Still, a senior analyst at Jupiter Research has claimed that:

“Google Checkout’s history to date has been a bit like Paypal’s evolution on steroids”

One to watch and certainly one to consider if you are an Adwords advertiser.