18 December 2006

Google Checkout

You found some good deal on the web, you fill up the shopping cart (figuratively, of course, as online shopping carts have no bottoms), and click on the Checkout button. Huh? Username? Password? What password? You try a few combinations of username and password, but none works. You had to resort to the Forget Password link, answer some challenging questions, then open a tab (I'm a Firefox user) in your browser, check your email for the new password. It's possible that you won't get to keep the new password. Hopefully you'll be able to set the password back to what you think it should be. In some extreme cases, you haven't been to this particular online shop for so long that you cannot even supply a valid username in order to retrieve your password via email. A familiar scenario? You bet! It's a very frustrating experience going to all the various shops on the web and be expected to cough up a username and password each time you check out. Surely you can set them all the same, but every now and then you may slip and forget to do so. Or even worse, some sites have different password requirements, e.g. the password must contain a number or maybe cannot have two consecutive characters being the same. Enters Google Checkout.

You establish a Google account and you have access to many of the services Google offers. Next time you are ready to pay for your loot, look for the Google Checkout button and use it. Instead of having to supply the username and password corresponding to that shop, just use your Google account's. That's it. No need to store usernames and passwords all over, either in Post-It notes or in PDA, just the one Google username and its password will do. During this holiday season, Google even offers a bonus to encourage people to use Google Checkout. Get something from Buy.com that costs over $30 and use Google Checkout to lop off $10! At the link of http://www.google.com/checkout/m.html , there are many shops to choose from. Even though my favorite Mac online stores are not there, I certainly won't mind switching stores just to make use of Google Checkout.

Google Checkout - it's a great idea whose time has come. Make use of it! (I know, it sounds like an advertisement for Google, but I like the service so much I'm doing this for free.)

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