Amazon Plotting to Extend Amazon Pay’s Reach

March 7, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It’s hard to figure out what to make of this development without throwing up your hands—metaphorical or otherwise—and just saying that all retailers should just accept Amazon branding and have done with it. New reports suggest that Amazon has an eye toward expanding its Amazon Pay mobile payment service, taking it into brick-and-mortar outlets and potentially even building a checking account-style product with help from JPMorgan Chase.

The reports suggest that the obvious starting point for these plans is Amazon’s recently-purchased Whole Foods. Since Amazon shelled out $13.5 billion for it at last report, it’s going to want to put it to work. Using it as a testing ground for a direct Amazon Pay offering wouldn’t be out of line. If Amazon can work the kinks out in Whole Foods location, it’s likely only a matter of time before it segues into other operations.

From there, Amazon also plans to offer a checking account-style product, which shouldn’t be particularly difficult to set up. A LendEDU survey suggested that nearly half of respondents—45 percent—were up for using Amazon as their primary banking account. Plus, 49.6 percent would be willing to use an Amazon-branded savings account.

If Amazon could offer even three percent interest, it would win quite a bit of savers’ business thanks to the catastrophically low rates savings accounts have offered for over a decade now. While current regulations prevent Amazon from making loans—which would likely be a profitable business itself—there’s nothing, reports note, that stands in the way of it taking deposits, and even paying interest on the deposits in question. Some have even drawn comparison between this plan and Apple Pay.

The notion that retailers would accept an Amazon Pay system in their stores may seem a little outlandish, but there’s reason for both sides to be in. This way, Amazon gets a piece of the brick-and-mortar market as well; everything that Amazon couldn’t or wouldn’t stock can be profited from in this fashion. Retailers, meanwhile, need to extend potential customers every option, because those who don’t are likely to lose to those who do.

It’s a safe bet we’ll see Amazon Pay in more stores to come, and we may even be giving Amazon our money for completely different reasons than we’re used to in the not-too-distant future.