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How Amazon could shake up the mobile payment industry

Thirty-two percent of the 33 million customers who use Amazon Payments do so through a mobile device, according to some numbers provided by Amazon.

That percentage casts an informative light on one of Amazon’s less well-known services. The online retail giant may be making more of a dent in the mobile pay world than was previously thought.

“As we have introduced new experiences with merchants, we have seen a significant increase in the number of customers using the information from their Amazon account to make purchases on merchant websites,” said Patrick Gauthier, vice president, Amazon Payments. “Amazon Payments brings the simplicity and familiarity of Amazon’s buying experience to our merchant customers, making it easy for millions of Amazon customers around the world to pay using the information already stored in their Amazon account.”

Amazon payments
When people think of mobile payments, there are a few names that likely jump to the forefront. Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal are all at the forefront of the mobile pay world.

But there is one name that has been quietly lurking in the background – Amazon.

The company has been mostly silent on the mobile payment front, not doing much publicity around Amazon Payments.

That may change in the future, as Amazon has just released some data from an internal review which found that Amazon Payments was being used by 33 million customers.

Thirty-two percent of those customers are using Amazon Payments through a mobile device.

Those numbers may be surprising to those who have not considered how Amazon fits into the mobile payment space.

But Amazon is actually in a very strong position to make waves with mobile pay. With its massive user base, Amazon already has an enormous amount of credit cards linked to Amazon accounts.

This built-in base makes Amazon Payments an easy transition for many consumers, who can easily begin to use the service without having to add much more information.

Sleeping giant
Amazon has mainly focused on letting consumers make online purchases with Amazon Payments, but that too is changing as Amazon continues its migration towards physical retail as well.

The company’s recently unveiled Amazon Books stores are already using Amazon Payments for mobile check-out and its experimental Amazon Go store uses a version of it as well.

These numbers may represent a significant portion of the mobile payment pie that is projected to continue a steady growth over the next few years.

Forecasts have put total mobile payment volume at $282 billion by 2021 (see story).

Those predictions are consistent with current growth models, which show that mobile payments will increase by 30 percent this year (see story).

With this amount of potential growth, brands should keep an eye on how the mobile payment field expands over the next few years, with a particular focus on seeing how much Amazon begins to invest in its payment services.

If history teaches us any lesson, it is that any industry that Amazon is bringing itself into, it is likely to be a major competitor.

“Amazon Payments connects merchants with customers that are accustomed to making purchases online,” said Gauthier. “By connecting with these customers, merchants are driving higher conversion, increasing sales and ultimately growing their business.”