Amazon is about to launch its own online payment service which will take on PayPal next week. Customers who store their credit or debit card information when they make purchases with Amazon will then be able to use those details to pay for other services, such as mobile phone bills or digital subscriptions.
The system is being tested in the US and will launch on Monday two days ahead of what is widely expected to be the unveiling of the company's first smartphone. Amazon already acts as a payment middleman for sales made through its own website, charging sellers a 3.4 per cent fee per transaction. As with PayPal, a similar transaction fee will be applied to sales it facilitates through third parties.
It has been a bad week for Paypal. Its head David Marcus announced he is stepping down later this month to run Facebook's messaging service. Marcus led PayPal's move into new areas of payment services, such as its mobile wallet app, which enabled real world transactions.
In his new, specially created role, Marcus will lead Facebook's messaging unit, which includes both the company's online messaging service and its mobile app, but not WhatsApp.