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Amazon Payments
410 Terry Ave N
Seattle, Washington 98109

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Amazon Payments Review

If you run an ecommerce store, it’s important to ensure that you offer a secure, convenient way for customers to pay for goods and services. One possibility is using Amazon Payments (also known as Amazon Pay), an online payment option from the biggest online retailer in the world. Here’s everything you need to know about using Amazon Payments for your ecommerce business.


Overview of Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay is an online payment processing service offered by the online ecommerce giant. The Amazon Pay system can be integrated into ecommerce stores, shopping carts, and websites selling goods and services. Amazon customers can easily pay for goods and services anywhere using Amazon Pay — it automatically uses the personal payment information they have entered on Amazon to checkout and pay for goods elsewhere.

Amazon Pay in its Own Words

“Amazon Pay makes it simple for hundreds of millions of customers around the globe to check-in and checkout using information already stored in their Amazon account.” Amazon also offers this video explaining the Payments feature:

Amazon Pay Key Benefits

Amazon Pay provides businesses and buyers with several advantages.

Benefits for buyers:

  • Saves time and hassle — customers don't need to re-enter their payment details.
  • Increases trust and confidence — built in fraud protection, security, and the Amazon A-to-z satisfaction guarantee.
  • Usable across multiple devices — available on smartphones, tablets, desktops, and laptops.

Benefits for businesses:

  • Easy to configure, install, and use — Amazon Pay has a number of widgets, plugins, and development options to allow easy integration into any website, ecommerce store, or retail platform.
  • Subscription and recurring payments — set up payments to be charged on a regular basis.
  • Metrics and reports — detailed reports on transactions, charges, and many other factors.
  • CRM integration — track transaction information for individual customers in your CRM.

Amazon Pay Drawbacks

Amazon Pay does have some potential drawbacks for businesses.

  • Regular domestic payment fees are the same as other flat rate major online card processing providers. You may be able to get more favorable pricing from other processing companies.
  • International payment fees are higher than some competitors like Stripe.
  • Amazon holds “reserve” funds from your account in case of customer dispute.
  • Payments can take ten to twelve days to reach your account.

Related Article: What are “reserves” in credit card processing?


Details of Amazon Pay Services

Now that we have the quick overview out of the way, let’s take a look at Amazon Payments in more detail.

Amazon Pay Uses Existing Customer Credit and Debit Card Information

As the biggest online retailer in the world, Amazon already has the debit and credit card details of hundreds of millions of customers. Using Amazon Pay as a payment option means they don’t need to re-enter their personal or financial details to process payments on your ecommerce site. This can reduce friction and lead to fewer abandoned shopping carts: a priority for ecommerce storeowners.

Retailers Can Use Their Own Checkout Branding

You can use your own branding throughout your website, shopping cart, and payment experience. Customers will be aware they are checking out through Amazon Pay, but the overall branding experience is yours to control.

Amazon Pay Can Take Recurring Payments

Amazon Pay can be setup to charge and accept payments on a recurring basis, for example for subscription billing. Amazon Pay also works with Recurly, for more precise control of your subscription options. This makes it a viable option for any business that offers goods or services on a set schedule and needs to charge customers at regular intervals.

See also: Options for Recurring Payments.


Increased Trust Factor and Conversions with Amazon Pay

Due to the huge penetration and awareness of Amazon Pay in the online retail space, an Amazon Pay logo can provide trust and reassurance to your customers. Amazon Pay can also help to optimize your conversion rates due to a deep understanding of the customer checkout process. Amazon’s A-to-z guarantee and fraud protection can also enhance customer trust.

Amazon Pay Provides Marketing and Brand Guidelines

Amazon Pay provides complete guidelines for using its buttons, integrations, and other elements in your ecommerce website or shopping cart. This includes banner and button guidelines, payment marks, logos, and a full marketing guide.

Amazon Pay Merchant Metrics and Reports

Amazon Pay provides several reports for businesses concerning customer satisfaction. Details included in the reports are the “Order Defect Rate” — the number of orders that have received negative feedback, an A-to-z guarantee claim, or a chargeback, and policy violations — issues you need to resolve to use Amazon Pay. Amazon wants you to maintain an order defect rate lower than 1% of orders.

Amazon Pay also provides settlement reports. These provide a detailed breakdown of activity, transactions, amounts, fees, and more for specific periods. Settlement reports can be downloaded easily and analyzed in a spreadsheet program or similar software.

Amazon Pay Integration with Customer Relationship Management

Amazon Pay can update your CRM system with details of customer transactions, products purchased, and payments, helping you more easily track and manage customer information and tailor marketing campaigns.

Amazon Pay Provides Buyers with Protection and Convenience

Amazon Pay provides several benefits to consumers, which will encourage them to shop at your store. That includes:

  • Not having to re-enter payment and other personal information.
  • Being covered by Amazon’s buyer protection and satisfaction guarantee.
  • The ability to shop and checkout on any device including smartphones and tablets.
  • Fraud protection and security.

Fraud Protection and Security

Amazon Pay uses sophisticated algorithms and analysis to identify and stop potentially fraudulent transactions. All payments are handled with industrial-strength encryption to protect customer data.

Signing Up for Amazon pay

If you want to accept Amazon Pay through your ecommerce store, you will need to fulfill certain criteria.

You must have:

  • A U.S. street address and phone number.
  • A U.S. bank account and a credit card associated with a U.S. street address.
  • A business taxpayer ID, EIN, or personal social security number for the online tax document.
  • Once you have completed the online signup process and tax interview, you will need to verify your bank account with Amazon through a “microdeposits” system.

Accessing Funds and Payments with Amazon Pay

To access payments customers have made through Amazon Pay, you will need to link your bank account and credit card with the Amazon payments system. Once you have shipped orders to your sellers and captured their payment information, Amazon can pay out your funds.

The amount of time it takes to get paid by Amazon varies, but be aware:

  • It takes at least 14 days between when you register to start accepting payments through Amazon Pay and when you can receive your first payments.
  • Amazon makes payments and disbursements to you on a daily basis.
  • There is generally a seven-day delay between a customer paying for your products and Amazon releasing the funds to you.
  • It takes three to five days for a payment sent by Amazon to reach your bank account.

Amazon Pay also holds some of your funds in “reserve” — this reserve fund is intended to keep enough money back to refund customers in the event of an issue, A-to-z guarantee breach, or chargeback. The amount that Amazon Pay keeps in reserve is determined by your “merchant tier” — your reserve amount will go down as you maintain satisfied customers and process payments.

The amount Amazon will hold in reserve varies between the complete value of all your transactions over the last seven days and 3%, depending on your tier.

Amazon Payments Rates and Fees

Amazon Pay prices its services based on the value and volume of transactions you process through its systems. There are no setup fees, monthly fees, or other fees, as Amazon charges according to a flat-rate pricing model that includes all costs.
 

Amazon Payments rates

The fees work as follows:

Domestic US Transactions

2.9% of the total amount plus 30 cents per transaction.

This works out as follows:

  • 100 $30 charges a month ($3,000) = $117 in fees.
  • 150 $40 charges a month ($6,000) = $219 in fees.
  • 200 $50 charges a month ($10,000) = $350 in fees.

This pricing is identical to many other online credit and debit card processors including Stripe, PayPal, and Braintree.

International and Cross-Border Transactions

For international transactions, Amazon Payments charges 3.9% of the total amount plus 30 cents per transaction.

This works out as follows:

  • 100 $30 charges a month ($3,000) = $147 in fees.
  • 150 $40 charges a month ($6,000) = $279 in fees.
  • 200 $50 charges a month ($10,000) = $450 in fees.

This is more expensive than Stripe (which does not charge extra for foreign transactions) and less expensive than PayPal. It is the same price that Braintree charges.

Chargeback Fees

If a charge is disputed by the customer and “charged back,” there is a fixed fee of $20. This is in addition to the loss of the funds from the original sale, which you will not keep.

Integrations

For integrating Amazon into your site, you can expect:

  • Full integration through a rich, well-documented API system.
  • Fixed-price buttons can easily be created using a button generator and integrated onto your website.
  • Free plugins are available for popular ecommerce store builders including Shopify, Prestashop, Bigcommerce, and Opencart.
  • Widgets are available for installing payment options across a wide variety of ecommerce stores and websites.
  • Amazon Pay can also be custom-developed through a pre-built software development kit. Languages supported include PHP, Java, Ruby, C++, and Python.

Amazon Pay works with a number of certified partners and developers to make building and using Amazon Pay easier.

Amazon Payments Reviews

Amazon Payments has been used by over 25 million customers to buy products from ecommerce retailers. We explored what customers and businesses had to say about Amazon payments.

In general, reviews were positive, with businesses reporting that adding Amazon Pay as a payments option had increased their business. Others reported that Amazon Pay reduced cart abandonment rates due to ease-of-use for the customer. Amazon Payments received 4.1 out of 5 stars on G2 Crowd, with reviewers stating that the Amazon logo lent a sense of familiarity and trust to customers.

Negative reviews were mainly about Amazon Pay holding funds in reserve, both during the initial 14-day period after registration and setup, and on a rolling period once the setup period had passed. A couple of complaints also spoke to issues with setting up Amazon payments in the first place or installing it on a website. Some reviewers claim that the company pays slowly if you’re not a larger business or express difficulty with the documentation and integration process.

Given how many transactions, businesses, and customers Amazon Payments deals with, there were surprisingly few negative reviews.

Amazon Payments does not have its own Better Business Bureau profile, but Amazon.com has an “A+” rating with the BBB. Given that not all reviews talk about Amazon Payments, the processing arm, as opposed to Amazon the ecommerce site itself, we’re not including those details here.

Conclusion

Amazon Payments can be a viable choice for businesses wanting to expand their customer payment options. A combination of ease-of-use together with enormous Amazon brand recognition and trust is likely to result in better conversion rates and fewer cart abandonments. Be aware that portions of your funds may be held in reserve by Amazon to resolve customer disputes, and they can be slow to pay. Additionally, Amazon Payments’ flat rate pricing structure may not be the most competitive pricing available.

If you run an ecommerce store and are curious about what pricing you could get, try our processor comparison tool.

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