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Amazon.com today announced it has signed an agreement with Bill Me Later, Inc., a leading provider of alternative payment technologies, to make the Bill Me Later payment option available on the Amazon.com website. The company also announced it is making an equity investment in Bill Me Later, Inc.
Bill Me Later is among the most widely adopted alternative payment technologies for the largest online retailers. Bill Me Later enables consumers to shop online without using a credit card and helps retailers simplify the payment experience.
Amazon New Payment Option With 'Bill Me Later' [biz.yahoo.com]
I don't like it.
The site doesn't work with Firefox. I get the navigation at the top of the page, and nothing else. I had to switch to IE to see the content of the home page. (Update: AdBlock Plus saw everything on the home page as ads. Not sure why. Are they associated with some ad-serving company?)
The "About Bill Me Later" link doesn't really tell me a thing about what it is or how it works. And I'm not sure just how I would find out, other than signing-up and reading the fine print.
As a consumer, it stinks.
Even many government installations, etc no longer use purchase orders - they simply give you a Visa number - no more waiting for your money, and all the excess paperwork that goes with it.
Exactly why, as a merchant, would I want to give that up?
I would use it as a merchant but none of my sites sell anything over $50 so it would not be much of a benefit.
I'm sure Amazon is using it to try and sell Kindle.
Keep in mind the merchants pay for that.
There are several of these programs in use in retail, and they offer the customer all kinds of options - no payments for 90 days, 6/12 months same as cash, etc.
In addition to collecting about 24% interest from the consumer who (cough cough) forgets to pay his balance off fully before the deal expires, they sock it to the merchant for about 10% of the sale for setting it up - these customer specials are MUCH, MUCH HIGHER for the merchant than 2-3% to accept a normal credit card.
I'm sorry, for 10% (plus potential interest from the customer) 'I' will play banker and carry the financing myself.