|Fri Aug 3 2007 11:27:56|
Amazon's New Payment Service Will Spark Innovation
By: Ina Steiner
Amazon.com announced an online payment system enabler that looks to be the basis for some great innovation. Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS) is a "web service," meaning it is designed for developers to build out applications (or integrate with existing applications). Here's AuctionBytes' Newsflash article about the service that just launched this morning.
The potential for individuals and small companies to use tools to create ecommerce-enabled applications is huge. Buyers have the security of using the Amazon payment method and can use credit cards, bank transfers, or Amazon Payments balance transfers.
In the last year or so, I've seen some interesting tools developed by "micro developers" for "micro merchants" using the platforms of larger companies, such as eBay, Craigslist and Facebook, often using Amazon web services or APIs from such companies as Shopping.com (owned by eBay) and Data Unison (provides eBay market data). Mashups, toolbars, apps for mobile devices, and the latest craze - widgets - have come out of the fertile minds of entrepreneurial developers. Amazon just gave them new power, and I'm eager to see what will come out of it.
Whether this is a threat to eBay, allowing buyers and sellers to bypass the marketplace, or will help it by facilitating transactions on eBay, is yet to be seen - and may be a bit of both. Clearly it's a threat to PayPal (though I don't think there's a stored-value aspect to Amazon FPS as there is with PayPal), and maybe more so to Google Checkout.
Ecommerce is never boring. Let's hear from developers - what's so great (or not so great) about Amazon FPS?