Google announced that it is dropping Google Checkout in favor of its more smartphone-friendly Google Wallet service. Businesses relying on Google Checkout to process online payments will have six months to transition to another payment processor. The company says it has partnered with other online payment processors, namely Braintree, Shopify and Freshbooks, to offer discounted services for its Google Checkout merchants.

The much rumored "GBuy" service arrived in 2006 as Google Checkout, an online payment system akin to Ebay-owned PayPal. Shortly after its debut though, Ebay prohibited sellers from using Google Checkout under the premise of unproven reliability and maturity. Of course, fast forward several years later and Google's payment service remains banned from use on Ebay's site.

For consumers, the move from Checkout to Wallet will be mostly irrelevant. For merchants though, some planning will be required.

Even though Google Checkout is slated to disappear November 20, 2013, merchants may still apply for Google Wallet's Instant Buy API -- a system which allows businesses to accept payments via Google Wallet. Unlike Google Checkout though, Instant Buy is not a standalone online payment processing solution. Rather, the Instant Buy API allows Google Wallet users to use their own payment methods (e.g. real credit cards) stored in their Google Wallet. Google acts as an intermediary, but merchants must still rely on third-party card processing gateways to make use of Google Wallet Instant Buy; access to the API itself though, remains free.

Developers accepting Google Checkout payments through any of Google's properties (e.g. Google Play, Chrome Web Store) will be automatically transitioned to Google Wallet.