Amazon Launches 'Login and Pay' Service for E-Commerce Sites

Ramping up competition with e-payments heavyweight PayPal, Amazon on Tuesday introduced a new service that would allow its 215 million active customers to make purchases around the Web by entering only their Amazon credentials.

The Web retailer's “Login and Pay with Amazon” offering allows people to pay for products on participating sites using their Amazon username and password, sidestepping the hassle of entering address and credit card information over and over again across the Web. By reducing the friction associated with online payments, the move could help participating e-commerce sites and Amazon -- by acting as a middleman -- benefit from increased transactions.

“Login and Pay with Amazon enables companies to make millions of our customers their customers by inviting online shoppers with Amazon credentials to access their account information safely and securely with a single login,” said Tom Taylor, VP, Amazon Payments, in announcing the new service today at the Money 2020 conference.

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Amazon Payments, launched in 2007, already allows people to make purchases on thousands of sites using their Amazon credentials. It also more recently added a service for people to log into other sites with their Amazon information.

But the new bundled service saves consumers from having to first set up accounts at third-party sites in order to use their Amazon ID to buy something. They simply hit a “Login with PayPal” button when accessing a site to have payment and shipping information to later appear at checkout to complete a purchase.

In the process, participating sites will be able to collect a shopper's name, email address, and postal code from Amazon when someone logs in, allowing businesses to market to them directly 

While Amazon didn’t identify any third-party sites that have adopted “Login and Pay” yet, its announcement included a statement from in-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo indicating it planned to add the service later this year. Amazon said the payment system is covered by its “A-to-Z Guarantee” that affords buyers the same protection they get when buying products on Amazon.com.

The new Amazon service takes aim at eBay unit PayPal, which has long offered a popular service that lets users buy products and services as well as transfer money online with their PayPal account information. eBay reported revenue for PayPal reached $1.6 billion in the second quarter, up 20% from a year ago.

Amazon also wants to contend with PayPal on the burgeoning mobile front, promising its new payment service will work “seamlessly” across the desktop, tablets and mobile phones. On mobile devices, anything that can streamline the buying process is especially welcome to merchants because of the user challenges presented by smaller screen sizes.

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