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Jul 31, 2008

Amazon Announces New Payment Services

Amazon Announces New Payment Services and Updates to Mechanical Turk

amazon-logo.pngIn a quick succession of announcements, Amazon released a set of hosted e-commerce payment services, as well as anupdate to its Mechanical Turk service. The payment service, Checkout by Amazon, will allow online retailers to use Amazon's one-click checkout system, calculate shipping costs and tax, as well as allow their customers to track shipments...

Checkout by Amazon

amazon-shopping-cart.jpgOut of the two announcements, the payment services service are the most interesting. Amazon gives its customerstwo optionsCheckout by Amazon or Amazon Simple Pay. Simply Pay is basically a stripped-down version of the full Checkout package and doesn't include the one-click checkout and most of the order management features such as calculating sales tax and shipping rates, creating packing slips, or collecting buyer feedback. Simple Pay, on the other hand, allows sellers to use more payment options, including credit cards and bank accounts. Checkout by Amazon can only accept credit cards.

These services are basically an extension of Amazon's "Flexible Payment Service." This service (which has been in beta for quite a while now) gives developers a set of API that hook into Amazon's payment services. One area that Amazon is especially targeting with this is micro-payments.

With these new services, Amazon is going up against Google Checkout, as well as most credit card merchant accounts. However, with Amazon's already established reach among consumers, as well as the level of trust that most consumers have when it comes to working with Amazon, both Checkout and Simple Pay have a distinct advantage over their competition. For merchants, Amazon's Checkout service also offers a wider range of services than most credit card processors or Google Checkout currently offer. Google Checkout, however, is generally cheaper than Amazon's offerings - though it also offers fewer services...

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