Amazon may begin offering branded checking accounts
Amazon looks for additional ways to keep users on their platformBy Cohen Coberly
It's no secret Amazon wants to keep shoppers on their platform. With services like Prime Instant Video and Prime Music on offer alongside a recent slew of products coming from Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods, it's clear the company wants to become their customers' one-stop shop for entertainment and shopping.
To reinforce this goal, it seems Amazon may be expanding their reach into the financial sector. According to a Wall Street Journal report, the online retailer is considering launching their own branded checking account aimed at younger individuals and "those without a bank account." The move could reduce or eliminate Amazon's current need to pay banking partners and payment processors to handle transactions.
To be clear, this does not mean the retailer will be opening up their own bank. Rather, Amazon is considering partnering up with the likes of JPMorgan and Capital One to create a "hybrid-type" checking account for customers.
Amazon is considering partnering up with the likes of JPMorgan and Capital One to create a "hybrid-type" checking account for customers.
The benefits of such an account for Amazon's current customers are unclear at the moment but product discounts, faster payment processing and the potential elimination of standard checking account maintenance fees all seem like distinct possibilities.
As enticing as an Amazon-branded checking account may sound to some, there's no guarantee the retailer will follow through with their current plans. Indeed, as WSJ notes, Walmart's attempts to obtain a banking license many years ago fizzled out quickly when competitors and lawmakers opposed the move. It's possible Amazon may face similar challenges to their business expansion down the line.