Amazon rumoured to be heading into mobile payments market

Mobile payments have yet to really take hold, but with news of Apple getting involved, it suddenly seemed like a much bigger deal. With Amazon also rumoured to be starting its own payments system, mobile buying and selling is starting to sound one of the key battlegrounds of 2014.

News of Amazon's involvement comes from two sources, both talking about different things, but very much focused on the same area. First up, the Wall Street Journal claims that Amazon is to offer a Kindle Checkout System to physical retailers. Basically a way of taking cash via a Kindle tablet and a credit card reader, possibly with back-up services such as website help and data analysis.

It will do this using technology from GoPago Inc, a company it bought into last year. It would also have access to credit card information from around 230 million customers, so would have a very strong starting point. Ideally Amazon would like to get in with big retailers, but that's unlikely to happen in the short term as they have their own checkout contracts. Instead, it will focus on smaller stores for its outlets.

That's one side of the story, here's the other, courtesy of TechCrunch. It claims Amazon is also looking at person-to-person (P2P) payments too, putting it in direct competition with PayPal. It is said to be cloud based and the functionality could be built into the upcoming Amazon smartphones, likely to be shipping this summer.

Amazon is already said to be working on it and hiring engineers to accelerate the work. In other words, this is a very real proposition. Add the two strands together and you can see that Amazon really wants to take a chunk of the mobile payments market. Then again, so does PayPal and so does Apple. As we said, it's likely to be something of a battleground this year and next year as each company battles to be the default option.

Sources: WSJ and TechCrunch

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