Ultimately, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) intends for Wallet to be used at the point-of-sale but presently its first crack at this app doesn’t provide for mobile payments or the storage of credit and debit cards. Presumably, because the app only allows for the storage and organization of gift cards, store cards, and loyalty cards; Amazon isn’t touting its Wallet just yet.
Why Amazon launched mobile wallet now?
Its current incarnation allows users to “reduce the clutter in your leather wallet or purse,” by providing entered cards as a barcode, text, image, or QR code. It also allows users to check the balance of said gift cards.
Amazon hasn’t offered much in the way of additional information but has said that “in addition to being pre-installed on Fire Phone, we are offering a beta version of the Amazon Wallet app for Android phones in the Amazon Appstore and on Google Play. We look forward to getting customer feedback on the beta app.”
Amazon has also added functionality to the mobile app by allowing users to log on to www.amazon.com/wallet and enter credit cards, debit cards and checking accounts that then sync with the mobile app and allow you to use them at Amazon.com though, for now, not at point-of-sale.
Google Wallet competition?
Clearly, Amazon has designs on Wallet that extend well beyond the aforementioned features. Amazon would like to compete with PayPal and Google Wallet and ultimately sees itself as a major player in peer-to-peer (person-to-person) payments.
The app has been available in both stores since July 17th but was only recently discovered by blogs like TalkAndroid, Android Central, Android Police and others. However, its current version is nowhere near what is already available from its competitors. With the introduction of the Fire Phone, Amazon clearly has designs on having its users scan products in the physical world in order to purchase them online and Wallet will help achieve those aims.
While in its infancy, Amazon Wallet is there and can only become more functional.