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Amazon has confirmed plans to take on Google Checkout and PayPal with the launch of a rival payment system for etailers.

Dubbed the Amazon Flexible Payment Service (FPS), the system forms part of the etailer’s Web Services programme and allows firms to create checkout facilities with a set of developer tools.

Amazon, in turn, takes a fee for each transaction, with the size of its cut depending on how payments are made.

The etailer said:

“In much the same way that S3 and EC2 allow developers to forget about leasing space in data centers, buying servers and negotiating for bandwidth, FPS shields developers from many of the messy and complex issues which arise when dealing with money.”

First reported last week by TechCrunch, the move will see Amazon joining Google’s battle with eBay’s market leading PayPal system.

It will hope its existing developer relationships will give FPS an early boost, as well as the fact that its 69m active customers can use their existing log-ins to make payments on sites that adopt it.

On his blog, Amazon’s Werner Vogels said:

“[FPS] integrates with the Amazon Payments operation such that Amazon customers can use the same login credentials and payment information they’ve already entered on Amazon.com to pay for any developer’s service that uses Amazon FPS.

“This helps Amazon customers keep their payment information secure while exploring new services and its helps developers by removing the typical friction associated with making a first-time or repeat purchase.”

Meanwhile, Amazon has also invested in AnnieStreet.com, a US-based firm that offers a demand-based pricing system for digital music. Th etailing giant plans to launch an online store for DRM-free music later this year.


Published 6 August, 2007 by Richard Maven

529 more posts from this author

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