Bank of Google — Open for Business

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), the second most valuable tech company in the world, today launches a program in the United Kingdom that will help its customers finance online advertising purchases. The service is expected to launch in the United States within the next few weeks.

Under the program Google will offer credit ranging from $200 to $100,000 a month to pay for customers' use of the AdWords program. AdWords raked in the bulk of Google's 2011 advertising revenue of $37 billion.

Interest rates on the credit cards will be 8.9% in the U.S. and 11.9% in the U.K.

Google's program is similar to one launched last week by Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), under which Amazon makes loans to independent sellers wanting to offer products at the Amazon Marketplace.

At the end of June, Google had about $43 billion in cash and short-term investments available, and this credit program, like Amazon's, is an effort to put at least some of that cash to work.

Paul Ausick