Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover….or Amazon Pay? This might become another decision for consumers to make at retail shops if the Seattle giant launches its payment tool in-store. As the following Wall Street Journal article discusses, Amazon Pay is said to be looking at becoming a payment option at gas stations and restaurants, as a start.
Amazon.com Inc. is gearing up to challenge Apple Inc. in the mobile-payments race. The e-commerce giant is working to persuade brick-and-mortar merchants to accept its Amazon Pay digital wallet, according to people familiar with the matter, attempting to expand a service now used primarily for purchases online.
To start, the company is looking to work with gas stations, restaurants and other merchants that aren’t direct competitors, a person familiar with the matter said. Retailers that view Amazon as a threat could resist the effort, the people said.
The push to become a bigger player in consumer payments shows Amazon’s desire to further integrate itself into the lives of its customers. It isn’t clear exactly how customers would use Amazon Pay in stores: They could tap their phones at checkout, much the same way they use Apple Pay, or scan a code on their phones, among other options. Apple says Apple Pay was accepted at more than five million in-store locations in the U.S. as of May, and the number of merchants accepting its wallet is growing.
One might ask—what took Amazon so long? There are systems and business issues to overcome before a payment method is accepted in stores. Plus, it’s just been in the past year or so that NFC (Near Field Communications) terminals have become more common at merchant checkout counters to enable mobile pay transactions. Our guess is that we should expect to see Amazon Pay at a merchant POS location near you before too long. Also, consider Whole Foods markets as a logical choice for Amazon Pay as well.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group