September 18, 2014
In a recent development, Amazon disclosed on its WebPay FAQ webpage that it is shutting down its P2P Payments Service WebPay from October13th 2014. The company said that the service was not addressing a customer pain point particularly better than anyone else, and hence it had to be closed. Launched in 2007, it has been used to send, receive and request money by just using the email id of the person on the website.
The company said that the transactions done before 13th October won’t be affected, and the recipients will get 30 days to claim the money. After this period, it will be returned to the sender.
Despite being an old player in this space, Amazon WebPay was not among the popular P2P transfer services. The space is highly competitive and players like Google, Square and Paypal are fighting it out with numerous start-ups for their share of the pie.
And then, there is that new but powerful kid on the block, that has been making the headlines over the last week. Apple Pay is predicted by many to change the way we pay for things forever. While companies have tried to change the way we pay for years using technologies like NFC, none of them have been very successful so far. Apple seems to be all set to bring that much elusive paradigm shift. For starters, Apple has kept the process of using Apple Pay very simple and intuitive. Adding new cards to iTunes has also been kept simple. Then, an unprecedented amount of merchants have shown willingness to support the platform: 258 stores, and banks accounting for 83% of total credit card
Besides, Apple is also working with Uber. It is easy to see that the company has big plans. Players like Amazon, that were not doing particularly well in certain payment segments before the Apple announcement now have very little to play for in those segments. It makes sense for these companies to streamline their efforts, and to focus on their core/ profit making wings. There have been other similar developments that can be seen in the same light: In recent news, Weve, UK’s popular m-commerce platform, has announced they have no plans for a standard mobile wallet service. Weve was a joint venture between the three operators: EE, O2 and Vodafone.
Amazon’s webpage also says that the company is not providing any alternative to WebPay. It means that the company is pulling out from P2P payments altogether, and will focus solely on POS solutions for the retailers.
Besides, the company launched Login and Pay with Amazon in Europe this year. The service is already available in the US. It allows people to make payments using their Amazon credentials on other e-commerce sites. Hence, the company is certainly not abandoning the payments space entirely.
If you have an account with Amazon WebPay, now is the good time to look for an alternative!