Posted October 5, 2009 2:09 pm by with 1 comment

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amazonI know it’s a conundrum you’ve just puzzled over for years. When will “the mobile” “arrive”? What will it take to get mobile payments off the ground in the US? A month ago, we looked at Read Write Web’s series on this subject, where they concluded that mobile payments wouldn’t take off until a site users know and trust implemented a secure system.

Facebook has already announced a mobile payments “solution” (all buzz words get scare quotes today) with Zong—but Amazon might beat them to the punch. Amazon, one of the (if not the) most popular online commerce sites, premieres its own Mobile Payments System today—and it’s not just for their site.


No, Amazon will let third parties use their system for mobile payments. As a trusted online retailer, Amazon could be the one to significantly increase mobile payments with its one-click checkout on other sites.

Amazon has been pretty forward thinking with its payment system. Two years ago, it premiered its Flexible Payments Service (FPS), a little like a Facebook Connect for online payments—they let developers integrate Amazon payments into their site, so users could login through their Amazon account, and use their Amazon payment and shipping info. (FPS users could use a highly flexible billing schedule for their Amazon-affiliated customers.)

The new Mobile Payments System (MPS) builds on those same features, integrating into third-party sites, adding to users’ trust, while expanding it to mobile offerings. Plus, if you’re already using FPS, MPS is automatically active for your site.

What do you think? Will Amazon MPS catch on, and will it bring mobile payments to the masses?

  • I’m not a huge believer in mobile net access, I haven’t seen one interface that impresses me. The netbooks are where it’s at. To that end, I wouldn’t feel comfortable making mobile payments. But then again, I didn’t like making payments online 10 to 15 years ago either.