Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Amazon Online Payment

Amazon opened its online payment system to other would-be online merchants and competitors with little funfare. The service comes in two flavors: Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay.

Checkout by Amazon gives merchants the same powerful checkout feature that one experiences when buying items from Amazon. It supports real-time shipping and tax computations; cross-promotions; orders management tasks and shipping tracking. You get full programmatic access similar to PayPal's API.

Amazon Simple Pay provides a simpler model that only requires cutting-and-pasting HTML code. This is useful for integrating the payment with an existing checkout process.

Both payment options let you leverage on the existing Amazon.com customer database. In fact, the buyer has to have an Amazon.com account in order to use the system. The upside is they do not have to re-enter their billing information since its already available. Of course, it leads one to ask -- would you trust Amazon payments if you offer products that compete with Amazon? And given that Amazon seem to sells everything including the kitchen sink, would you really want to give Amazon information on what your customers purchased from you?

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