Amazon confirmed today it has closed down the Amazon Wallet after a six-month long beta period.
The closure, which was also reported by CNET, is the second such announcement made this week by the Seattle-based retailer. The company also notified customers it was halting sales of its private-label diapers.
While the two decisions don’t appear to be related, it does signal that Amazon may be doing some housecleaning, or at the minimum, is willing to start over from scratch when necessary.
In July, Amazon quietly rolled out the Amazon Wallet, which allowed customers to scan and save gift and loyalty cards on their Android phone. At the time, the application was clearly labeled as a “beta,” although it supported a long list of merchants, including Guitar Center, Panda Express, Sur La Table, Applebee’s and The Cheesecake Factory.
As of today, the app is no longer available for download on either Google Play or the Amazon Appstore. It was also pre-installed on the Fire Phone, which launched around the same time.
Amazon spokesman Tom Cook confirmed the closure, saying that the Wallet will continue to work with limited functionality, but will not receive any updates or reflect updated balances on gift cards. Cook did not say why the app was being shuttered, but added: “We will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers.”
The closure will inconvenience anyone actively using the app since balances will no longer be updated. Amazon is recommending that Wallet users keep the original cards, and if those are long gone, to store the card information in a secure location as a backup just in case.
At the time of the launch, the app was being viewed as Amazon’s first step into the payments space, which today is dominated by PayPal.
Amazon has 244 million active customers, who trust the e-commerce behemoth to keep their credit cards on file, and yet, the company has done very little to exploit that position.
This likely won’t be its final attempt.