Amazon Wallet was a mobile wallet application by Amazon designed to be used at the point-of-sale. The app made its debut on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore in 2014.
It was described as an app that let users scan or type-in their loyalty card, gift card, or membership card information to store them digitally. The cards would then be available in the form of QR codes, images, text, or barcodes, making physical cards obsolete and reducing clutter in consumers’ wallets. Users would also be able to check their gift cards’ balance for many supported merchants.
In addition to a mobile application, Amazon Wallet also had a supporting website where users could add and manage the gift cards in their account and sync it with their application. On the website, users could add payment methods including debit cards, credit cards, and checking accounts that could be used on Amazon.com. However, the application did not support mobile payments for other retailers, which put it at a competitive disadvantage.
In 2014, just one year after the release of Amazon Wallet, Amazon informed users that they were shutting down the service. Amazon further elaborated that users could still make use of the cards on the application but could no longer track their balance.
This news was not shocking as many had doubted Amazon Wallet’s strategy from the very beginning. Since many retailers considered Amazon as a competitor, they were highly unlikely to participate in this new venture. This was a major disadvantage for Amazon Wallet as the mobile wallet game heavily depends upon adoption across other retail platforms.
Amazon Wallet also fell short when it came to its implementation. One major drawback was that it didn’t support mobile payments through credit and debit cards. As a major player in the market, Apple already did it better with Apple Pay which embedded bank credentials on the phone and allowed payments in most retailers.
As a result, Amazon recognized that their wallet couldn’t gain the same traction and decided to opt-out of it. This was a good call as there was no shortage of competition in the mobile payments landscape. In 2015, many businesses - from financial institutions to retailers, launched their mobile wallets to cash on the popularity of mobile payments. Most of these wallets could link credit cards so users could perform online and in-store payments with the benefit of loyalty offers. With so many suitable wallets in the market, it was unlikely that Amazon’s offering would take off.