Amazon ends its mobile wallet app trial after six months

January 21, 2015 01:25 PM Inc. ended its mobile payment beta Amazon Wallet today, six months after launch. 

The wallet app allowed consumers to store gift, membership and loyalty cards within the app. Consumers could pull up a barcode or QR code in the app for merchants to scan when checking out. Amazon Wallet did not have credit and debit card functionality, like some mobile wallets. 

Amazon would not share how many users had Amazon Wallet. Amazon Wallet was available on Google Play and the Amazon App store. Consumers who have the wallet can still use their preloaded cards; however, if consumers switch devices or uninstall the wallet, they cannot reinstall it. 

Mobile payments awareness is building, especially with the launch of Apple Pay, says Beth Robertson, managing director at Robertson Payment Services LLC. However, she says, not enough consumers signed on for Amazon Wallet to make the trial worth a full rollout.  

“Amazon did not have a cohesive enough strategy for them to really make it a core piece of their business,” Robertson says. 

ChannelAdvisor CEO Scot Wingo agrees, saying Amazon consumers are used to buying via mobile apps and on the Amazon site, and they don’t associate Amazon with an external wallet that just stores loyalty cards. ChannelAdvisor helps merchant manage their businesses on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay Inc. 

Another key problem, both Wingo and Robertson say, is Amazon had to get buy-in from consumers as well as merchants, who may view Amazon as a competitor. 

“Amazon's success has made it increasingly hard for them to partner with top retailers who view them as a competitive threat,” Wingo says. 

Follow mobile business journalist April Dahlquist, associate editor, mobile, at Internet Retailer, at @MobileInsiderAD.




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