Amazon aims to simplify online payments with PayPhrase

By on October 29, 2009, 3:00 PM
With the holiday shopping season almost underway, Amazon has launched a new payment system it hopes will make it simpler for customers to make online purchases on partner sites. The PayPhrase service works by keeping credit card information, shipping address and shipping preferences on record, and letting online shoppers invoke this information via a phrase and four-digit PIN of their own choosing.

While having to remember multiple customized phrases instead of just entering card numbers seems overly complicated, Amazon believes it will actually make your life easier and online shopping more flexible. For starters, it will allow users buy items without having to give critical information to third-party sites, while eliminating a few steps from the check out process -- you just need to click on the PayPhrase button, enter the phrase and four-digit PIN, and upon confirmation the purchase is automatically sent to the associated address.

PayPhrase also allows parents to set monthly allowances and preview and approve purchases for their credit card-less kids. It supports subscription payments and charity donations as well. For merchants, the obvious advantage is being able to incorporate Amazonís proven checkout system into their own sites. The feature currently works for U.S. users with both Amazon and Amazon partner sites like Buy.com and J&R Electronics.




User Comments: 13

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Clrabbit said:

So... really its amazons version of Paypal?

"PayPhrase also allows parents to set monthly allowances and preview and approve purchases for credit card-less kids."

This is both good and bad, nice for parents that want to say here's $50 to buy xmess presents for people this year. but at the same time sense it has to be Approved it takes the fun out of the kid buying something for there parents and not having them know what it is. couldn't they just make it so parents could set filters if they even wanted any.

I'd rather just be allowed to setup paypal accounts for kids and transfer money to there accounts and let them spend it. However I'm pretty sure theres a 13+ yo age limit to owning a paypal account.

MBK MBK said:

This sounds like paypal to me, though it may be a good competitor considering amazon is a major online retailer (with a good reputation??). It's always good to have some competition in any market.

I'd agree with the first posters comment about the child purchaes thing, it seems a bit silly if the kids were to be buying for parents. I remember I used to get my dad to by my present for my mum on his card, and visa versa, and before anyone says anything, even though I am part of the net generation, the nearest shops worth talking about were a 30min drive away. In either case, it's not really a concern for me, I don't have kids...

Colonel Lance said:

Seems like a kinda weird feature to me. I like the whole allowances and approves thing and what not but why can't they just add that into the default option, instead of it be this "payphrase" thing?

Personally I don't think I'm going to use it.

treeski treeski said:

I don't shop much from Amazon (mostly just for school books, when the price is right). I can see how this would be useful for a lot of people though. The allowances thing is pretty neat.

elroacho72 said:

I have to agree it does sound alot like paypal.

It makes sense to let amazon stream line the whole process.

They already move pretty quick with orders.I would like to see a side by side of the two;

but if you can't use it outside of amazon and partner sites, then whats the point.

So paypal is the way to shop on line for me.Just a quick Q: Will they still let us use paypal? That would be a bad idea!

Timonius Timonius said:

More options. More people wanting your money! More accounts!! More passwords!!! YAY!!!!

ken777 said:

If I'm reading this right, everyone has to come up with unique phrases that don't contain numbers/punctuation. If this takes off, pretty soon there won't be any reasonable phrases left. In Amazon's own examples, they use nonsense phrases like "Fiesty Mango" and "Happy Daze". Plus, you can only use a 4-digit pin.

I don't really get how this easier to use or more secure than something like Paypal. Why can't Amazon just make their own version of Paypal without all this phrase/pin nonsense?

zaidpirwani said:

Amazon Meeting Room:

1: Hey I just a great idea.

2. What's that???

3. Why not we copy Paypal, remove the "al" and add "hrase", some little editings here, some tweaks there and walla, its genius....

4. Pure genius my man, pure genius.

5. EOM (end of meeting)

Nothing out of the ordinary, but quite late from Amazon, this should have been implemented years ago, as Amazon has its own store. Also still no support for Asian countries. , these payment systems are getting on my nerve, I think I will start the next one and start it from Asia first....

BlindObject said:

zaidpirwani said:

Amazon Meeting Room:

1: Hey I just a great idea.

2. What's that???

3. Why not we copy Paypal, remove the "al" and add "hrase", some little editings here, some tweaks there and walla, its genius....

4. Pure genius my man, pure genius.

5. EOM (end of meeting)

Nothing out of the ordinary, but quite late from Amazon, this should have been implemented years ago, as Amazon has its own store. Also still no support for Asian countries. , these payment systems are getting on my nerve, I think I will start the next one and start it from Asia first....

LOL at the dialogue.

freedomthinker said:

I don't really care if this is a rip-off from PayPal , im just glad to see that Amazon is gtring to make shopping a little bit easier , at least commend them for the effort , this seems ok. And about that "PayPhrase also allows parents to set monthly allowances and preview and approve purchases for their credit card-less kids" . I think its good at most points , it just gives more freedom to kids to buy what they require !

swilllx2p said:

I'm usually not at all a person to worry about security much unless there's good reason to, but I've never cared for sites or my computer for that matter storing my credit card information. Seems like asking for trouble to me.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Note that parents don't *have* to approve the payments. They can choose the option to just have a limit and pre-approve everything to that limit.

I actually think it's quite an innovative idea. Since the name and address are linked to the payphrase, there's also little danger that someone who learns it will be able to gain anything from it.

For normal usage (i.e., a person buying for himself, not a child), I don't know if it really simplifies things by much, but I do think it makes buying more secure for the aforementioned reason.

JieMan JieMan said:

So now Amazon has jumped into the pool with there own iteration of a payment system. I would have preferred they would partner with Paypal instead as I don't like the idea of having soo many different options and depending on the site which one they use.

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