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 Amazon's 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.