Amazon Shuts Down Mobile Wallet after 6 Months (Jan. 21, 2015)
E-commerce giant Amazon ended the beta test of its mobile wallet app this week, six months after launch. In an email reportedly sent to users on Tuesday, the company said it would remove the Amazon Wallet app from Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Launched quietly last July, Amazon Wallet enabled users to scan or manually enter gift and loyalty cards, which could then be redeemed at the POS via barcode, QR code, text or image. Several dozen merchants were participating. Users still will be able to use any gift or loyalty card stored in the app, but must track their own balances, according to the announcement. Amazon didn’t say whether it was shuttering the wallet for good, or if it might return in another form.
“We have learned a great deal from the introduction of the Wallet and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers,” said Amazon spokesman Tom Cook, according to CNET.
The shuttering of Amazon Wallet comes after the company shut down its WebPay P2P money transfer service in October, saying the service “was not addressing a customer pain point better than anyone else.” But Amazon, by all indications, remains committed to experimenting with new payment products and services as it seeks to blur the line between physical and online commerce. Last year, the company debuted Amazon Local Register, a card reader and companion mobile app targeted for use by small businesses. Other Amazon initiatives include Pay with Amazon—a one-click online shopping service—and Flow, a mobile app that enables users to take pictures of physical products to add those items to online shopping carts.
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