Amazon has reignited its charge on the digital payments space. The e-commerce giant on Monday announced the launch of the Amazon Payments Global Partner Program, a new way for e-commerce platform providers to integrate with Amazon Payments so their own merchants can embed the "Pay with Amazon" option at checkout.
The program is split up into three tiers, with varying levels of account management, planning support, technical resources, marketing resources and training support. At launch, official e-commerce platform partners include PrestaShop, Shopify, and Future Shop.
Amazon began to ramp up Amazon Payments back in 2013 when it first introduced a new "="" feature"=""> designed for third-party online retailers. Basically, it allowed online sellers outside of the Amazon ecosystem to install "Pay with Amazon" buttons through a set of widgets and APIs crafted by Amazon.
Those retailers therefore gained a link to Amazon's 285 million active account holders who could then use their Amazon login credentials to pay virtually instantly, with Amazon filling in all of the billing and shipping data.
The idea is that merchants could increase conversion rates and sales by making the checkout process as short and simple as possible -- something PayPal has been working on for quite some time. PayPal is the most obvious competitor to Amazon Payments, and the parallel between the two businesses grows even stronger with Amazon's partner program.
Beyond PayPal, a similar effort for payments ubiquity is taking place at Square. Last week the company announced an e-commerce API, which will allow merchants operating a self-hosted website to process online payments through Square. Square's e-commerce push is still a pretty minor threat to PayPal and Amazon, but it's a start.