Online retailer Amazon has moved into the financial services arena with the launch of an interest bearing virtual store card.
The Amazon Credit Account has been introduced to entice seasonal spenders, providing shoppers with the opportunity to buy now and pay for their purchases at a later date. The account also makes it possible for people without a bank card or credit card to shop online at Amazon.com.
To inaugurate the service, new customers will enjoy three months of no payments and interest-free holiday shopping on orders over $200 placed through 31 January, 2002. The APR for credit account purchases is currently set at 22.9%, rising to 26.9% for defaulters. Each purchase racks up a minimum finance charge of $0.5
The service was developed by Citi Commerce Solutions, a division of Citibank Cards, in cooperation with Amazon.Com Financial services, a new subsidiary of the online retailer. It marks another step departure for Amazon, which has recently extended its product range from low ticket items to include larger value products, such as computers and other electrical goods.
Amazon's ability to control bad debts without damaging its brand value among consumers will be crucial to its ambitions in financial services.