Here’s a nice deal: smartphone content specialist Handmark integrates Amazon’s new mobile payments service into its mobile content stores. This includes, most notably, also the famed (and sometimes damned) 1-Click functionality whereby users can (just like on iTunes; Apple licenses the 1-Click patent) buy content with just one click. The store will then use whichever credit card they have previously entered. To mobile users, bruised and tired of multiple clicks and onerous navigation to purchase a single piece of content, this is a true piece of added value (and one that was often hailed on Apple’s benchmark app store).
From what I can see, Apple still leads in the fewest number of clicks but Amazon’s offering comes relatively close. Amazon’s service seems to offer a wider range of functions though: a user can pay, reserve, settle, run refunds, cancel, etc, etc, and, last but not least, a fairly established and recognized dispute resolution system, all through the Amazon API. Rather neat indeed! The transaction fees then are a dream for every mobile content provider: in the ranges customary for mobile content ($0.99-9.99), the fees range from 1.5%+$0.01 for Amazon Payments balance transfers to 5%+$0.05 for credit card payments. This, dear carriers, equates to a revenue share to the provider of 90-95%!
We will arguably see a whole range of app store providers taking this model up, in particular amongst those without a prior billing relationship. Carriers might be tempted to license the model, too, in order to facilitate the order flow (although I doubt that they will adapt the revenue shares, too): I would be surprised if Amazon could not adapt the back-end to integrate with a carrier’s billing module (although those commercial discussions would surely be interesting…).
It is a compelling case of transferring an existing brand with proven ease of use to the mobile web (where it will thrive first) and app stores the world over.