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I guess it makes sense, with a large proportion of internet shoppers already having an "amazon account" alongside their paypal account and google account..
I'm not sure I'd like to shove the name of a competitor in front of my customers when they are about to buy widgets from me, so it will be intersting to see how they market this.
And while we want to offer customers the most convenient way to checkout and make their payments, I expect that too many choices of "express" payment options at checkout will actually be detrimental!
Just my inital thoughts.
I certainly don't want a payment channel that requires people to open an account with the processor.
When purchasing online, I will use my existing paypal or google checkout accounts in preference to a stores own checkout system, as it saves me the effort of filling in all my details (card address, delivery address, card numbers) each time.
Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS) is the first payments service designed from the ground up specifically for developers. The set of web services APIs allows the movement of money between any two entities, humans or computers. It is built on top of Amazon's reliable and scalable payment infrastructure.
Amazon FPS offers developers unmatched flexibility in how they can structure payment instructions, including standing instructions that can remain in place for multiple transactions. These instructions impose conditions and constraints on money movements and can be set by both senders and receivers of funds. For example, a sender might set a spending limit per week for a particular named recipient. Only that named recipient would be able to withdraw funds and only up to an amount per week equal to the spending limit. A piece of FPS functionality called the GateKeeper automatically enforces the constraints you set with payment instructions. When the sender or receiver is a computer system, payment instructions are set programmatically using APIs. FPS also provides a simple set of user interfaces that humans can use. From the users' point of view, they simply see terms of service and a request to accept those terms.
Their reliance on the co-branded UI, where each and every customer is presented with the Amazon log-in screen might turn some custmers off, scaring away merchants as well.
This model of 3rd party storage of addresses and payment information hasn't really taken off in Google's case, so it'll be interesting to see if Amazon can gain a foothold with their solution.
[edited by: engine at 9:22 am (utc) on Aug. 6, 2007]
I like the idea of micropayments, but one advantage of istockphoto's credit system is that they have your money.
That gives them great up-front cash flow, and, I'm guessing, a profit boost if your credits expire unused. If you can afford to develop a system like this, it would probably be more advantageous in the long run than a micropayment system from someone else.
Of course, the downside is that to put credits in your account, you have to create an account, use a credit card, etc. A well-established micropayment system could speed this up and boost sales to new users.
Prepaid - Callers can direct senders to the appropriate Amazon FPS co-branded user interface to purchase a prepaid balance and obtain a multi-use token for the prepaid balance. This multi-use token can be used to track the sender's usage of the prepaid balance. Amazon FPS provides GetPrepaidBalance API to obtain the outstanding prepaid balance at any time.
Higher on the page, it refers to using this in connection with micropayments, but it doesn't seem to be limited to that here.
[edited by: Beagle at 11:46 pm (utc) on Aug. 7, 2007]
I'm assuming, it will have the same user interface to the standard Amazon checkout...