Amazon PayPhrase Tries to Simplify Online Shopping

Amazon PayPhrase has always been looking for ways to make it easier to spend their money online—an early example would be its its once-controversial patent on One-Click ordering. Now Amazon is trying a new way to part people with their hard-won cash: Amazon PayPhrase, a new shopping system that will let customers pay for products on and other Web sites using just a simple phrase—like “Book Freak,” “Movie Maven,” or “Secret Purse and Shoe Fund”—along with a PIN code to quickly preview an order and complete a purchase. The system taps into users’s existing accounts, and uses their preferred payment and shipping methods already on file with the online retailing giant.

“PayPhrase solves the headache of trying to keep track of all the different usernames and passwords people use to shop on various sites across the Web,” said Amazon PayPhrase’s general manager Matt Williams, in a statement. “We think customers will enjoy the simplicity that Amazon PayPhrase offers, and we hope they’ll have some fun choosing their own personal phrases.”

Amazon customers will be able to use PayPhrase wherever they see PayPhrase checkout buttons around the Web—and it’s no coincidence the service has rolled out just as the end-of-year holiday retail season begins to crank into high gear. Entering the payphrase lets users quickly preview their order, including shipping charges and tax information. If the order looks right, customers can then enter their PIN to complete the transaction: no shopping cart management, no account logins, no credit card information to enter. When customers visit sites participating in PayPhrase other than Amazon, they also won’t have to create accounts or register with those sites in order to make a purchase.

PayPhrase also includes tools to let parents set up online allowances for teens’ purchases: parents can give their children their own PayPhrases and set up monthly caps on spending, as well as monitor and approve purchases made through the account.

Some of Amazon’s PayPhrase partners include Car Toys, JR.Com,, Patagonia, Jockey, and DKNY.