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Amazon Backs Away from P2P Payments

Amazon is closing its P2P payment service called Amazon WebPay next month. You can be forgiven if you didn’t remember Amazon had a service that allowed people to send, receive, and request money from other users from the Amazon Payments website.

Amazon Payments users will no longer see the option to Send Money as of October 13, 2014. The reason, according to the Amazon WebPay website: “We are not addressing a customer pain point particularly better than anyone else. We’ve learned a great deal about how and when customers want to send money and will look for ways to use these lessons in the future.”

People are much more likely to have a balance in their PayPal account: eBay practically forces sellers to accept payments via PayPal, while Amazon deposits third-party merchant payments into sellers’ bank accounts.

While PayPal WebPay users could fund payments using their credit card, Amazon did not let them add funds to their account using a credit card.

In cases where senders didn’t have an account balance in their Amazon Payments account to cover a payment, they could choose another funding source – including the credit card on file with Amazon. But while Amazon didn’t charge for sending money using WebPay, their credit-card company would likely have charged the same fees as a cash advance for WebPay payments.

Amazon offers no other way for users to send, receive, or request money with other customers from their Amazon Payments account.

TheNextWeb.com appears to have been the first to report the news on Thursday evening.

Amazon sent its annual email notice to all Amazon Payments accountholders on Thursday with links to its Privacy Notice and Unauthorized Transaction Policy. And it included the following paragraph:

Additionally, we have updated the terms and conditions of our User Agreement (https://payments.amazon.com/help/Personal-Accounts/User-Agreement-Policies/User-Agreement) that apply to your use of the products and services provided by Amazon Payments. Our updated User Agreement revises certain terms (including, among other things, the elimination of person-to-person payments). Our new User Agreement will become effective on October 13, 2014, which is more than 30 days from when we first posted our updated User Agreement. By continuing to use our services after October 13, 2014, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions of our new User Agreement.

Amazon updated its WebPay page to include FAQs about the closure.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.