Monday, July 14, 2008

Connecting the Dots on Amazon Payments!

Back in Dec of 2007 Amazon announced that they had invested in the payment service Bill Me Later and would soon be adding it to as a payment option. Well, it appears that day has come with little fanfare.

I was doing my normal daily web surfing when I came across this announcement:" 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 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%


Poly said...

Off topic, but congrats on your NY Times mention :)

Randy Smythe said...

Poly, thanks for checking out the blog.

The NY Times mention has done wonders for traffic.

Henrietta said...

You are a wicked wicked man, there are suits all over the peninsula with heartburn now. ROFL

Anonymous said...

I don't have my hopes up high that this amazon payments is going to be successful outside of amazon.

Google checkout has had some success but I don't see many major websites like Dell and Southwest Airlines taking Google Checkout.

I would say the chances of eBay allowing sellers to accept payments from are zero

Andy Geldman said...

In the eBay Australia / PayPal furore recently I didn't hear anyone mention Amazon Payments.

If you sell on Amazon, your can only take payment via Amazon Payments - no PayPal, no Google Checkout. So why is it OK for Amazon but not OK for eBay?

Just playing devil's advocate...

Randy Smythe said...

Andy, they each protect their own turf. You are correct if Amazon wouldn't allow PayPal on then why would eBay allow Amazon payments on eBay.

We all know this would never happen. Right now, nobody knows for sure if Amazon is working on anything or if they are what it would be.

Anonymous, the difference between Amazon and Google is Amazon has 70 million active users who have Amazon accounts, Google had zero when they started.

We will just have to see if Amazon actually has something.

Cygan Saber said...

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