Friday, August 03, 2007

Amazon launches Flexible Payments Service (FPS)

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Amazon today goes head-to-head with PayPal by launching the Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS). It is a set of payment service APIs that facilitate the transfer of money between two entities (people or computers). The service provides more tools than Paypal to help developers set-up payment on their sites. This service will cover different types of transactions and the user will be able to make one-time/recurring transactions and also set-up weekly limits on transfers to any particular receiver.

There is no limit to the number of payment instructions. Moreover, "Developers can create payment instructions that are as simple or complex as they desire. For example, creating a relatively complex business model around micro-payments is easy to do with Amazon FPS. Our aggregation feature lets you track and aggregate micro-payments into a single payment transaction, saving on transaction processing costs and avoiding having to build complex ledger functionality into your own applications. Without this capability micro-payments would be difficult or cost-prohibitive."

The service is also customizable to accept different ways of receiving payment (credit cards, online bank transfer and Amazon Payments balance transfer), view account balances, transaction history and transaction details.

As a developer, you can also apply for monthly volume discounts as per the following:

  • 2.5% + $0.30 per transaction for payment volume from $3K- $10K
  • 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction for payment volume from $10K - $100K
  • 1.9% + $0.30 per transaction for payment volume over $100K

Overall, seems like PayPal finally has a real competitor. Moreover, Amazon already has products that it sells (unlike PayPal) and it won't be difficult to integrate this service first into their own systems. With Amazon's consumer base and having given a lot of options to developers, this may be one big step by Amazon to become the leading online service provider in this sector.

Related blogs:

  • Amazon Launches Payment Service to Rival PayPal - Mashable
  • Amazon rolls out Flexible Payment Service - Scobleizer
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