Amazon Pay Places expands to more brick-and-mortar stores

amazon pay places
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Amazon, one of the world’s largest and most profitable stores, wants your Amazon account to pay for more than just towels and toiletries. On Wednesday, it launched Amazon Pay Places, a new service lets Amazon customers place an order ahead in brick-and-mortar stores.

“One of the things we’ve been doing the last couple of years is thinking about how to connect merchants with the Amazon customer base, knowing they are very active connected shoppers whether online or on mobile,” Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Pay, told Pymnts.com. “With what we are taking the lid off today — we are enabling merchants to instantly reach people who are highly mobile and very desirable as customers — without having to worry about app distribution.”

Amazon Pay Places works a little like PayPal. Next time you are planning to pick up an order at a store or restaurant that is partnered with Amazon, you will be able to launch the Amazon smartphone app, make your selection from the Programs & Features section of Amazon’s mobile app, and save it to your cart. Once you have finished shopping, you will see an option to pay with one of the debit, credit, or checking numbers associated with your Amazon account.

Amazon sees Pay Places as a solution to what it calls the “app problem” — a majority of people do not bother to download merchants’ apps. According to ComScore, about 30 percent of Americans downloaded fewer than zero apps in 2016. That is opposed to the Amazon app’s install base, which Gauthier said stands at about three out of four phones in the U.S.

It’s a slow rollout, though. Pay Places, which launched in beta earlier this year in luxury clothing merchant Moda Operandi, will work only at select TGI Friday’s locations in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Virginia, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania starting later this year. But Amazon intends to take Amazon Pay Places beyond restaurants, according to TechCrunch.

Pay Places is an expansion of Amazon Pay, the digital payments platform the online retailer launched in 2007. Since then, Amazon’s brought it to France, Italy, and Spain, and opened it to global partners including PrestaShop, Shopify, Future Shop, and more than 50 others.

Amazon’s efforts have paid dividends. In February, Amazon announced that more than 33 million customers used Amazon Payments to make a purchase, up from 23 million in April 2016, and that payment volume doubled in the same period.

It is a lucrative business. Amazon charges 2.9 percent plus 30 cents per transaction — less than the 27 percent it charges eateries on its Amazon Prime Now Restaurants food delivery platform, and on par with PayPal’s fees.

But Amazon’s overtures could threaten its relationship with a would-be partner: PayPal. In January, the retailer discussed letting shoppers pay for Amazon purchases using their PayPal accounts, according to Bloomberg.

Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…
Mobile

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Smart Home

Which is better, the original Echo or the Echo Dot? We compare them

Amazon Echo vs. Dot: Having Alexa answer your questions is nothing short of futuristic, but which device should you get? There are some big differences between the two, especially in size, sound, and cost.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.
Product Review

With the S10e and S10 Plus, do we really need the Samsung Galaxy S10?

The Galaxy S10 is the middle child in this year’s Galaxy S10 range, between the Galaxy S10e, and the Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s no striking reason to buy it, but it’s still an excellent phone you’ll be happy with.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Mobile

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Mobile

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.
Mobile

The 2018 iPad is often the best iPad for most people — and now it’s only $250

Apple may have recently taken the wraps off of a new iPad Air and iPad Mini, but it's still the standard iPad that is best for most people. Now, the standard iPad has gotten a pretty significant discount -- it's down from $330 to $250.
Photography

Looking to keep prying eyes at bay? Here's how to hide photos on your iPhone

People take tons of photos using their smartphones, but not all are meant to be shared or seen. Luckily, hiding photos on your iOS device is easy, whether you want to use built-in utilities or apps with added security.
Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks to get started with your new smartwatch

Got your hands on a Fitbit Versa Lite? The smartwatch may be the pared down version of the more expensive Fitbit Versa, but there's still plenty for you to tweak in the settings. Here are our Fitbit Versa Lite tips and tricks.