By Ed Oswald | Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 12:56 am
Amazon on Wednesday rolled out its latest effort to simplify shopping on its site with a service called PayPhrase. Essentially, customers would set up a specific phrase and PIN which would be linked to shipping and billing information on Amazon. When used, the checkout process could potentially be shortened to a matter of seconds.
PayPhrase won’t be limited to just the online retailer. It plans to offer the service to other retailers as well. So far DKNY, Jockey, Patagonia, Buy.com, J&R, and Car-Toys have signed on with the service. Other sites that use Checkout by Amazon would also be able to employ the PayPhrase service, it said.
The nation’s largest online retailer sees this as a big boon for the holidays, where speed is a benefit for shoppers with long Christmas lists.
Is Amazon on to something however with PayPhrase? I think so. Even online methods of payment like PayPal still require several steps to complete a transaction. This requires only two steps: entering the phrase, click, enter PIN, click, done. You can’t get much easier than that while still staying secure.
What remains to be seen however is whether Amazon can drum up more support for this platform. Besides itself, the only other partner with significant market share is Buy.com: that’s way too little reach. If it can manage to snag say two or three more big name partners, PayPhrase may become the next big thing in online payments.