Google Inc. has outlined plans for new features for its Checkout payment system, including stored-value cards and micropayments.
Checkout, which the Mountain View, Calif., company introduced in June 2006, lets people make credit and debit card payments online without providing their payment details to merchants. Unlike alternative payment systems such as eBay Inc.'s PayPal Inc., Google Checkout does not let consumers store a balance within the system and does not let them make automated clearing house payments from a bank account.
A document Google provided to the Newspaper Association of America, which was posted online by Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab, said micropayments and stored-value accounts are planned additions to Checkout.
Though Google did not specify when those additions would be made, it said that in the fourth quarter it would allow "guest" accounts that consumers can use to make payments without creating a Google account.
According to Nieman, the Google document was submitted to the newspaper association in response to a request for proposals on how to monetize online news content.