Amazon does a la PayPal or CheckOut with its new Flexible Payment Service

Amazon, the immensely successful e-commerce site, has unveiled its Flexible Payment Service (Amazon FPS). The online payment service will take on competitors such as eBay's PayPal and Google's CheckOut.

The service provides developers with APIs for accepting credit card and debit card payments. Salient features of the new service are:

  • Buyers can use their existing Amazon accounts for faster check outs
  • Developers can set limits to a maximum amount of funds that can be transferred
  • Payments as low as $0.01 are accepted and several such payments can be bundled into a single transaction
  • Credit card transactions are charged a tad higher than debit card transactions

A more detailed comparison with Google's CheckOut and eBay's PayPal is available at

Though the market for payment outsourcing is very competitive, Amazon can make a big difference with its immense experience with e-commerce.

An excerpt from an article at

"We've taken all that we know about dealing with credit cards, bank accounts, fraud checking and customer service and wrapped it all up into one convenient package," Barr wrote.

The present developments merge well with Amazon's offerings to transform the Web as a platform for businesses. And the idea is catching up well with the buzz around service-oriented architecture. As an end user, the security and transaction fees are the primary concerns for a payment system, and it will be interesting to see how Amazon's FPS competes with eBay's PayPal and Google's Checkout.