Amazon Eyes P2P Payments and Physical Commerce (Jan. 30, 2014)
E-commerce behemoth Amazon isn’t satisfied with success in the digital world. It’s seeking talent for a strategy that includes P2P payments and “building products and services, which will delight billions of customers as they buy and sell things in the real world (as opposed to online),” according to a job posting on Amazon.com for a senior technical program manager. The focus on P2P could be a signal that Amazon is seeking to build up a critical mass of consumers before it approaches brick-and-mortar retailers for acceptance at the POS, Nick Holland, senior payments analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research, tells Paybefore.
“This is pretty big news,” Holland continues. “We’ve seen Square and Google, for example, initially focusing their payment efforts on the POS now turning their attention to P2P payments with Square Cash and payments via Gmail. I think Amazon is tracking with that trend. It seems like the next logical step because once you have 100 million P2P users, it’s more compelling when you talk to merchants about acceptance at the POS.” Another thing that could convince merchants to partner with Amazon, despite the fact that it’s a major competitor to brick-and-mortar retailers, is that Amazon could help them bypass interchange if it relies on ACH payments, Holland adds. Furthermore, he says, Amazon is likely to be looking for brick-and-mortar retail partners to serve as drop-ship locations and may be willing to pay handsomely for such a service.
Amazon could not be reached for comment, but the job posting offers a bit more insight into its payments plans. “As part of this ambitious new initiative we need experienced Senior Technical Program Managers to help us deliver a set of innovative mobile- and cloud-based products. The customer experiences we are building are powered by secure, scalable and highly available cloud services,” it says. Last October, Amazon began offering other online merchants a way to enable customers to pay with their Amazon accounts through Login and Pay with Amazon.