Amazon is enabling its mobile app users to use their Amazon account information to order and pay for purchases from some TGI Fridays restaurants through a new feature called Amazon Pay Places, according to TechCrunch.
Several media reports suggested Amazon will roll out the payment option more widely, including at retailers, in the future. For now, it’s available to use at TGI Fridays locations in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, VA, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, the TechCrunch report stated.
Amazon Pay Places can be found under "Programs & Features" in the navigation menu of the Amazon mobile app, although it will only appear there in the markets where the capability is being offered.
This report surfaced after Amazon earlier this year provided an update on the impressive progress of Amazon Payments, saying the PayPal-like service had been used by 33 million people in 2016, with transactions doubling and the number of online merchants accepting Amazon Payments increasing 120%.
The e-commerce giant also last month partnered with luxury fashion retailer Moda Operandi and Curalate to allow remote checkout on Moda Operandi's Instagram page using Amazon Payments. That partnership came after Moda Operandi earlier allowed customers to use Amazon Payments to pay for their orders on its web site and at trunk shows.
Other than that isolated program, we have not seen Amazon Payments extended much into the retail environment, but Amazon Pay Places could change that. At one point, Amazon and PayPal reportedly had been discussing a payments partnership, but those discussions appeared to fall apart, and Amazon Pay Places could be part of Amazon's follow-up effort to increase usage of the Amazon Payments platform.
It will need to do more than offer a payment capability on orders from a handful of TGI Fridays restaurants, but if this pilot program is successful (no one seems to be calling it a pilot program, but it sure looks like one), we may see some larger, more retail-focused partnerships emerge.
That could make Amazon something of an interesting wild card in a very crowded digital payments market, though we'll need to see a lot more places accept Amazon Pay Places before it becomes a real factor.