With an eye on garnering a share of the emerging mobile commerce market, leading online retailer Amazon has rolled out a new service that facilitates smartphone users to pay for online products without disclosing their credit card details.
The new Mobile Payments Service from Amazon is available in form of application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can incorporate into their websites and facilitate mobile commerce.
A customer just needs to choose the Pay with Amazon option while making an online transaction through their smartphone and the service will seamlessly connect with the Amazon server to validate and complete the transaction.
The credit details of the users would only be stored with Amazon and thus other sites will not have access to sensitive financial details of their customers.
Many analysts believe that while mobile commerce holds promise, it may take some time for it to really take off.
However some segments of mobile commerce like buying Apps for mobile phone have already grown significantly with Apple managing to sell over 2 billion apps by last week for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
As more smartphones make their way into the market and with mobile commerce slowly gaining popularity, Amazon hopes that its new service will soon become a new lucrative revenue source for it.
Amazon could be mounting a competitor for Ebay's Paypal; Amazon does have financial services but in recent times (and at least in the UK), it seems to have scaled back its operations. That said, mobile payment in itself is likely to be more popular in emerging countries rather than in developed ones because online banking for example has been existing for the better of a decade.