Amazon aims to put Amazon Pay in stores

Amazon aims to put Amazon Pay in stores

While we’ve witnessed the digital wallet explode in Asia, thus far it remains a rather fragmented nascent market here in the US. We’ve seen efforts by Apple, Google, PayPal, and others, but so far here in the US adoption of mobile payments remains low compared to that in Asia. Yes, there are some successes, like the one enjoyed by Starbucks, but so far there is no “universal” mobile payment platform that has taken the country by storm.

This has prompted Amazon to make its move, leveraging consumer comfort with its online digital wallet and one-click payment capability to bring Amazon Pay to the mobile payments space. While Amazon may not be first or second in the mobile payments space, as we’ve seen time and again from Apple, being early with a new technology or disruptive platform doesn’t get a company across the gold medal. Rather, waiting for the inflection point in adoption and having a simple to use and intuitive solution tends to win the race. That could very well be what Amazon is doing as it looks to pick up another tailwind in our Digital Lifestyle investing theme.

 

Amazon.com Inc.  is gearing up to challenge Apple Inc. in the mobile-payments race.

The e-commerce giant is working to persuade brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet, according to people familiar with the matter, attempting to expand a service now used primarily for purchases online.

To start, the company is looking to work with gas stations, restaurants and other merchants that aren’t direct competitors, a person familiar with the matter said. Retailers that view Amazon as a threat could resist the effort, the people said.

The push to become a bigger player in consumer payments shows Amazon’s desire to further integrate itself into the lives of its customers. It isn’t clear exactly how customers would use Amazon Pay in stores: They could tap their phones at checkout, much the same way they use Apple Pay, or scan a code on their phones, among other options. Apple says Apple Pay was accepted at more than five million in-store locations in the U.S. as of May, and the number of merchants accepting its wallet is growing.

Currently, shoppers can use their Amazon accounts to check out at a small number of Amazon’s brick-and-mortar locations, such as Amazon Go and its bookstores, and a growing number of online merchants accept Amazon Pay, its third-party service. Amazon Pay stores credit- and debit-card numbers, allowing shoppers to skip the step of typing in their account information at checkout and making them more likely to complete purchases.

Currently, shoppers can use their Amazon accounts to check out at a small number of Amazon’s brick-and-mortar locations, such as Amazon Go and its bookstores, and a growing number of online merchants accept Amazon Pay, its third-party service. Amazon Pay stores credit- and debit-card numbers, allowing shoppers to skip the step of typing in their account information at checkout and making them more likely to complete purchases.

Amazon also is working to make Alexa, its virtual assistant, an in-store payments platform, people familiar with the matter said. For example, a customer paying for gas could tell the Alexa voice assistant in the car to use Amazon Pay.

Source: Amazon Pay Accepted Here? Web Giant Aims to Put Digital Wallet in Stores – WSJ

Amazon adds payments to Alexa skill sets

Over the last year, we’ve seen considerable progress in the use of voice interface technology, due in part to the success of Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa, but also efforts by Alphabet and to a lesser extent Apple. Like most Disruptive Technologies, we are seeing the use cases continue to expand and ripple across our Cashless Consumption investing theme. Not surprising given Amazon’s efforts into voice-driven shopping as well as its online and mobile payments initiative known as Amazon Pay.

Amazon Pay is coming soon to apps developed for Amazon’s Alexa by third-party developers.

Starting out, Alexa’s payment-embedded skills will fall into the following categories: donations, restaurants and event ticketing.A developer preview made available yesterday also indicated that Alexa’s Amazon Pay-powered skills will expanded more dramatically in 2018. That change will roll out with a public beta for the Gadgets API, giving developers a chance to start making games that interact with the Echo Buttons for multi-person gameplay. Those will be in stores starting next month, according to reports. The new payments skill will likely leverage voice recognition technology, as Amazon has also announced that it will expand access to that capability as well.

Presently, only Amazon-built Echo apps can use voice recognition.Native payments for Alexa and Echo devices will allow Amazon to offer its 20+ thousand member developer base a chance to monetize their app creations. Thus far, so doing on the platform has been difficult as ads are mostly forbidden — with the exceptions of flash briefings and streaming audio, which are able to run ads.

Source: Amazon Pay Comes To Alexa Skills | PYMNTS.com