Amazon.com rolls out shortcut for paying online

SAN FRANCISCO Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:01am EDT

A worker carries packages for shipment at the Amazon warehouse in Leipzig, December 3, 2008. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

A worker carries packages for shipment at the Amazon warehouse in Leipzig, December 3, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Wednesday announced the launch of "PayPhrase," a shortcut for making purchases on the Web, as the online retailer prepares for a rush of holiday season shopping.

To use PayPhrase, consumers set up a unique phrase and a 4-digit PIN that links to their Amazon.com account where a shipping address and payment information is stored.

When shoppers make a purchase on Amazon.com or other participating websites, they will be able to enter their PayPhrase and PIN, see an order confirmation and check out in seconds. There is no need to sign in or enter credit card information on multiple sites. the general manager of PayPhrase said.

"We think this is a huge benefit for the holidays," said Matt Williams, general manager of Amazon PayPhrase. "The vision of PayPhrase is truly to be able to allow you to pay instantly wherever you want to pay."

PayPhrase can be used on Amazon.com and sites like DKNY.com, Jockey.com, and Buy.com that accept Checkout by Amazon -- a service that allows sellers to use Amazon's 1-Click checkout for their own websites.

While U.S. retailers are prepared for a subdued holiday shopping season, online retail is seen as a bright spot. According to a study by Shop.org, 45.8 percent of online retailers expect their holiday sales to rise at least 15 percent from last year.

Amazon said last week that its holiday sales could come in far above expectations, sending its shares up to a lifetime high.

Earlier this month, Amazon competitor eBay Inc said its Bill Me Later deferred payment option would be available for both eBay and PayPal for the holiday season.

The service offers one-time deferred payment options to consumers. It is carried by such major retailers as Toys R Us, Zappos.com, Petco and Wal-Mart.

(Additional reporting by Alexandria Sage, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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