Amazon Coin Launch: Revisiting Micropayments and Virtual Currency
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is revisiting a blast from the past that never really took off due to the Internet and e-commerce still being in the infancy stage. The company has announced "another new way for app and game developers to make money on Kindle Fire" by introducing Amazon Coins.
Amazon said that this is the new virtual currency for purchasing apps, games and in-app items on Kindle Fire. While this would accommodate larger payments as well, this basically sounds the same as micropayments that tried to gain steam a decade ago. The company said:
Amazon Coins is an easy way for Kindle Fire customers to spend money in the Amazon Appstore, offering app and game developers another substantial opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increase monetization. When Amazon Coins launches in the U.S. this May, Amazon will give customers tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins to spend on developers' apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore. Amazon will also make it quick and easy for customers to buy additional Amazon Coins using their Amazon accounts.
Amazon did note that its Appstore developers will still earn their standard 70% revenue share when customers make purchases using Amazon Coins. The Amazon Coins initiative is being called "the latest in a series of new features and services for developers that make Amazon the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games."
We have seen this effort before in micropayments. Some names of the past were iPIN, IBM Micropayments, Peppercoin, Bitpass and others. This will effectively rival eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) for PayPal payments, which do allow micropayments, but this may be an Amazon ecosphere effort for a while.
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