Amazon Payments is finally competing head-on with PayPal, Stripe and other payment processors.
The retail giant announced today that it is expanding its Amazon Payments program to include e-commerce platforms that offer products from a range of sellers, in addition to existing individual merchant websites. The Amazon Payments Partner Program allows e-commerce sites to let Amazon handle logins and payment processing for goods sold on non-Amazon sites.
For e-commerce sites, it’s an easy way to reduce friction at checkout, since customers with Amazon accounts don’t have to create an account, enter payment info or deal with new passwords, according to Tom Caporaso, CEO of e-commerce solutions provider Clarus Commerce.
“E-commerce sites will benefit from partnering with and receiving certified approval from the most trusted e-commerce site in the U.S.,” he said. “Given the hundreds of millions of shoppers — Prime members and otherwise — around the world who likely have accounts with Amazon, the Amazon Payments Partner Program launches from an envious position. Right from the start, many, if not most, of those customers will happily click an Amazon payment button to confirm their orders quickly and securely.”
While Amazon will take a percentage of the sales made through the system, it could still be a net benefit for e-commerce sites that see increased sales in addition to lower payment processing and account management costs.
“Amazon will also collect more and more transactional data about its customers, which it can use to customize and enhance their shopping experiences while further optimizing the payment services,” Caporaso said.
Partners are divided into three tiers: premier partner, certified partner, and certified developer. Those tiers are selected by Amazon and each determine the number of benefits a merchant gets, including training, technical resources, planning support and account management. Some merchants can even get co-marketing opportunities as a partner.
Currently, the program is available by invitation in the U.S., Germany, U.K. and Japan, but merchants can submit an application to get partnership status. PrestaShop, Shopify, and Future Shop are among the e-commerce platforms launching Amazon Payments support today.
Amazon Payments is already a successful endeavor at Amazon. The “Pay with Amazon” program saw 150 percent year-over-year growth in 2015 and was recently adopted by Southwest Airlines to process in-flight entertainment purchases. By expanding from individual merchants to sites that offer products from many sellers, it will be able to vastly expand its footprint.
But the program is now expanding to match similar services are available from PayPal and Visa. PayPal’s service is so popular, it was spun out from eBay to great success. Apple is also said to be working on a similar option for mobile websites using Apple Pay.