Amazon said Tuesday that it will invest in Bill Me Later, an alternative payment technology, and make it available as an option on Amazon.com. Bill Me Later is the largest payment system you have never heard of.
The move is notable on a few fronts. For starters, Amazon's investment puts it in the same payment game with eBay's PayPal and Google Checkout. For Bill Me Later, Amazon's investment gives the service a spotlight so it will be adopted by other retailers.
And it's not like Bill Me Later is an also-ran. The payment service is on par with PayPal in terms of market share. Bill Me Later has significant traction since it has lower fees than credit cards and merchants get a better deal on data sharing. Bill Me Later, which is offered through CIT Bank, based in Salt Lake City, and managed by I4 Commerce, has significant share and a low profile.
Once Bill Me Later is exposed to Amazon's millions of customers it could become more of a standard.
Amazon in a statement noted that Bill Me Later is "very customer-centric." Bill Me Later added that it is "among the most widely adopted alternative payment technologies."
Add it all up and Amazon's undisclosed investment in Bill Me Later is enough to shake up the payment market. It's highly likely that Bill Me Later will easily become the top payment dog with a lift from Amazon. Even without Amazon Bill Me Later was a player and it didn't have big backers like eBay and Google behind it.