retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The International Business Times reports that Amazon has "quietly launched" a mobile application it is calling Amazon Wallet, available from both Google and its own app store, that "can scan gift card and store loyalty cards … Cards added to the Amazon Wallet mobile app can also be viewed and edited through the Amazon website, which also displays credit cards and other payments saved to your Amazon account."

The application is described as bare bones at the moment, because while it allows users to scan in these cards, it "doesn’t support mobile payments, nor does it support storing credit cards and debit cards."

However, the story says, "While Amazon’s beta app doesn’t have much to offer at the moment, it may be building itself up as a contender against eBay Inc.’s PayPal and Google Wallet."
KC's View:
With Amazon, it often seems to be about what's coming next, as opposed to what it is doing now … the company's ability to play retail chess allows it to put pieces in place now that it can use to attack the market later. The guess here is that it won't be much later for this idea, since waiting doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.