I was doing my normal daily web surfing when I came across this announcement:"Amazon.com now accepts payments made with the online payments service Bill Me Later. Additionally, Amazon is also now a featured store on the Bill Me Later home page."
So, I immediately went to my Amazon account to verify if this was the case and low-and-behold, there in my payment options was Bill Me Later. So, this news got me thinking:
I've been hearing quite a bit of chatter regarding Amazon's payment business and there are rumors swirling around about a PayPal competitor coming soon from Amazon, well its starting to look to me like they are getting their ducks in a row.
Let's see if we can connect the dots:
- In August of 2007, Amazon announces FPS (Flexible Payment Service) for developers to create applications using Amazon's payment platform.
- In Oct. of 2007 word leaked out that Amazon had bought TextPayMe, a service for transferring money via text message -- I've tried it and it works great by the way.
- In Dec of 2007, Amazon invests in Bill Me Later.
- In April of this year, Amazon announces TextBuyIt, which allows mobile phone users to buy Amazon product from their mobile devices.
- Also in April, Amazon developers released a "Pay Now" Widget for websites and followed that up with a Marketplace Widget for ecommerce sites.
- Then I recently went to my Amazon Payments account and noticed that all of these individual applications were tied together on one site including:
Send Money from Your Computer - Use your Amazon Payments account to send or receive money from any e-mail address -- kind of sounds like another service I've heard about :)
- Then late last month, rumors started to fly about a PayPal killer that Amazon was working on, when Derek Brown of Cantor Fitzgerald released a research note that said;
"At the same time, we see potential changes to the competitive landscape. Most noteworthy, our research leads us to believe that Amazon.com may soon launch a PayPal-esque Payments service for use by consumers and merchants across the Web, potentially siphoning growth and/or profit from eBay's crown jewel."
Am I reading too much into this? Does ecommerce need another payment service? It sure seems to point to one thing to me: Amazon Payments will compete directly with eBay's PayPal for the non-eBay ecommerce business. Of course we all know eBay wouldn't accept Amazon Payments, thought they certainly couldn't use the same excuse they used to keep Google Checkout off the site.
Imagine if Amazon enabled their 70 million active users to use their Amazon account including A2Z guarantee on any website they choose to buy from (except eBay of course)
What is even more fun to consider, is that an eBay seller accepting Amazon Payments, offering Amazon's A2Z guarantee and using Amazon's FBA for fulfillment could provide that world class "buying experience" eBay so desires for their users.
Update: Well, I guess I was right about this. Amazon Launches Merchant Payment Service
Just my 12%