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Amazon Denies Bitcoin Acceptance – May have alternative payments agenda

Amazon, Payments, Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been considered, but Amazon is waiting for something else

Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce sites around. If you think of online shopping, you usually think of Amazon first. So, why isn’t the biggest online retailer looking at one of the most prolific crypocurrencies around?

Well, it seems that they have, but they just don’t want to take the plunge.

Speaking to Re/Code, Amazon’s head of payments Tom Taylor said: “Obviously [Bitcoin] gets a lot of press, and we have considered it. Bit we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right fro them and don’t have any plans within Amazon to engage Bitcoin.”

This isn’t Amazon shooting down Bitcoin though, as Taylor does see some advantages in making the most of a global currency. However, he doesn’t see it as a way to solve the more pressing issues Amazon merchants have – such as exchange rates, which is something it’ll focus on in other ways.

One way Amazon may well get around this issue is by bringing its own payments network out to the masses. After all, the rumour and speculation around the merchant stepping in has been rife for years, but little has ever been said or done.

“If we felt like we could do a better job than Amex and Visa, and feel like it helps the customer experience, then that’s something we would do,” said Taylor. “But it would really have to be something much better than [what they do].”

It’s not too hard to imagine though. They already have a huge install base of shoppers, with details to boot. There’s a lot of Amazon payments card users out there too. However, most interesting of all, is Amazon’s Amazon Coin system that was announced last year.

Primarily used to reward customers for purchases, as well as serving as a slightly cheaper payment method, Amazon Coin could easily become a ubiquitous online currency used for purchases on Amazon or for other products elsewhere. Perhaps this is the early basis for a payments framework.

However, Taylor wouldn’t provide any further details on what the company is thinking in the realms of payments. So only time will tell.


[Image: m4thi3u - Flickr]

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