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This Move Shows Amazon Wants to Dominate Payments, Too

The Amazon Pay checkout button could be coming to an e-commerce site near you.

Amazon Pay is incentivizing e-commerce retailers to use its payments platform by offering discounts for long-term agreements, according to multiple news reports.

Amazon Pay functions similarly to PayPal and other digital wallets—it leverages all of a customer’s payment and address information already stored on Amazon so that shoppers don’t have to re-enter these sensitive details all around the web. This move toward a simplified checkout will be of growing importance as online shopping continues its upward trajectory, with Statista projecting that U.S. e-commerce sales of apparel and accessories will increase to $121 billion by 2021.

The Amazon Pay feature can be attractive to smaller merchants for whom swipe fees and the cost of accepting debit cards online can add up quickly. Like everything Amazon, its Pay platform operates on a volume basis—and Amazon passes on the card-fee discounts it receives to the businesses that sign up for the payments service. Currently, Amazon Pay’s fees equal 2.9% of each credit card transaction plus $0.30, according to Bloomberg, which Amazon is willing to lower in order to stimulate adoption. Amazon Pay also serves as a simple way to help the retail giant drive additional revenue.

Shopping online is all fun and games until it comes time to check out, especially on small-screen mobile devices, when retailers can require multiple pages of billing and shipping addresses plus payment details and more before a transaction is finally—mercifully—complete. That’s much of what makes Amazon’s seamless and patented one-click checkout so appealing to customers and merchants alike.

“The world of payments—not just online, by the way—is ripe for disruption, not because online checkout is pretty crappy but because it’s really expensive for the retailer,” Paula Rosenblum, managing partner for RSR Research, told Sourcing Journal. “So the key for them is in the discounts. The good news for the consumer is that the fewer places a credit card number is exposed, the happier we all are, especially online, where fraud is growing.”

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Cross-border e-commerce in particular can be unwieldy for shoppers and retailers alike, though it’s becoming commonplace as U.S. retailers search for new growth opportunities overseas. The Multi-Currency option in Amazon Pay enables online retailers to begin accepting customer transactions from abroad, and retail technology solutions provider Aptos recently integrated this feature to help retailers “grow their businesses beyond borders,” Richard Willis, Aptos’ vice president, growth and innovation EMEA, said.

Premium British women’s wear brand and Aptos customer Mint Velvet debuted Amazon Pay to give digital shoppers a better checkout experience. “Since adding Amazon Pay, we’ve seen an increase in conversion rates from customers who complete their transaction with Amazon Pay without having to leave our site, speeding up their checkout time,” Stuart Grant, COO of Mint Velvet, said.

Online sports, fashion and outdoor goods discounter Getthelabel.com implemented Amazon Pay through Aptos as part of its international expansion. “By working together with Aptos and Amazon Pay, Getthelabel.com has enhanced the speed and efficiency of the checkout process, as our customers no longer need to re-enter credit card and address details when using Amazon Pay,” Liz McNamara, marketing director at Getthelabel.com, said.

“As an additional benefit, the widely recognized and trusted Amazon brand gives Getthelabel.com customers increased shopping confidence,” McNamara added.