| SAN FRANCISCO, June 9
SAN FRANCISCO, June 9 Amazon.com Inc
will start managing subscription payments for start-ups and
other companies - the latest in a series of quiet moves the
e-commerce giant has made into PayPal's turf over the past year.
The service, which launches on Monday, allows the company's
more than 240 million active users to use credit card details
stored on Amazon.com to pay for services such as a monthly phone
bill or a digital music subscription. Amazon then charges a fee
on each transaction.
EBay Inc's PayPal has long dominated online
payments services but Amazon sees plenty of scope to push into
The new service broadens Amazon's profitable role as a
middleman for third-party sellers, which account for 40 percent
of its sales and extends its influence beyond its website.
It also comes ahead of June 18 unveiling by Chief Executive
Jeff Bezos of what is widely expected to be a smartphone key to
expanding Amazon's role in mobile payments.
"You should see it as one of many things that we'll do to
expand where people might think about Amazon helping them,"
Amazon vice president of seller services Tom Taylor said in an
Amazon has been testing the new service over the last
several months with start-ups including Ting, a mobile phone
company that is part of Tucows Inc. Those who used
recurring payments by Amazon spent 30 percent more on Ting's
website, product manager Justen Burdette said in an interview
arranged by Amazon.
Some analysts have said Amazon has been held back in
payments because merchants are wary of handing over customer
data to the company, which has a record of rapidly expanding
into new areas and competing with sellers.
But Taylor said the only details collected by Amazon as part
of the new service is the dollar amount of each transaction and
not any "item-level information."
He added that the service would encourage Amazon users who
might otherwise be leery of handing over their credit card
details to a fledgling companies to try out them out.
"If you think about giving a merchant that you may not know
very well the right to continue to charge your credit card in
the future, you really want to know that a good relationship
with Amazon stands behind that," Taylor said.
"We hope whoever the next Spotify out there is thinking
about Amazon," he added, referring to the privately held,
popular digital music subscription service.
(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)