What may be a measured launch right now could have significant implications in the payments world. As the follow article reports, Amazon just introduced a mobile payment method embedded within its mobile app for use in a familiar restaurant chain.
Amazon is today introducing a new feature called Amazon Pay Places, that allows customers to pay for in-store and order ahead shopping experiences using their Amazon app. That is, instead of using cash, check, credit or debit while shopping out in the real world, you can just use your Amazon account information.
The first implementation of Pay Places involves a partnership with the TGI Fridays restaurant chain, but we understand this feature will be supported in more in-store and physical world applications in the future.
TGI Fridays, as the launch partner for Amazon Pay Places, is currently the only place where the feature can be used today. It’s also not broadly available across the restaurant’s chains in the U.S. Only Amazon customers in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Virginia, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania are able to take advantage of the feature at present.
To access Amazon Pay Places, you’ll need the Amazon mobile app. Once launched, tap on the drop-down menu to access the app’s navigation, then tap on “Programs & Features.”
Amazon Pay Places will be available in this section, in supported markets.
From there, you’ll be able to browse the TGI Fridays menu and place your order directly through the app.
Amazon typically does not do anything on a small scale, so its Pay Places feature could be the start of something big. For the moment the actual payment process is somewhat buried within the Amazon Mobile App, so this is not exactly a frictionless transaction. It’s also unclear how the pay in-store would work since this appears to be a mobile order ahead and pay transaction. We’ll need more details and merchant partners in order to assess further, but this may be another example of how Amazon is steadily moving ahead in the payments world and a threat to legacy payment players.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group
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