Amazon retreats from mobile wallet space

Amazon retreats from mobile wallet space

Amazon has pulled the plug on its mobile wallet app following a disappointing six-month trial run.

A beta version of the Amazon Wallet app was quietly slipped onto the Google Play and Amazon Appstore back in July.

Users could scan their gift, loyalty and membership cards to the app and then access them via barcode, QR code, text or image. At some merchants, customers could also check balances.

The app came pre-installed on Amazon's underwhelming Fire handset and a new site was set up where users could edit and manage their cards as well as the payment options they have on file with the e-commerce giant.

At launch, it was envisaged that Amazon would eventually combine the app with its Fire handset and enable users to load debit and credit cards for mobile payments on the high street.

Just as quietly as it introduced the app, Amazon has now pulled it from the Web, informing users that unspent gift cards will still be honoured, but that they will have to track their balances manually.

Amazon's retreat from the wallet space follows its decision in October last year to pull the shutters on its P2P e-mail payments system WebPay.

At the time, the company told customers: “We are not addressing a customer pain point particularly better than anyone else. We’ve learned a great deal about how and when customers want to send money and will look for ways to use these lessons in the future.”

The language is remarkably similar to that used by spokesman Tom Cook to explain the demise of Amazon Wallet: "We have learned a great deal from the introduction of the Wallet and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future."

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 January, 2015, 11:191 like 1 like

There is a lot of consolidation going on in the Mobile wallet space at the moment, and not a lot of space for multiple providers. Consumers will only want to deal with a handful of mobile wallet apps at the most, and critical will be ease of use and security, which is where Apple Pay has a distinct advantage (along with a large base of loyal iPhone users. I expect to see a lot more wallets being introduced, being pulled from the market and a raft of acquisitions over the next few years.