The WSJ reports Amazon (AMZN) is working on a checkout system for physical retailers that would rely on Kindle tablets and (possibly) credit-card readers, and leverage technology and talent from recently-acquired payments startup GoPago. A launch could happen "as soon as this summer."
Such a move would push Amazon into a crowded mobile payments space that already features Square, PayPal, Groupon, Intuit, and a slew of other upstarts, as well as incumbent point-of-sale hardware vendors NCR and VeriFone (PAY). Apple might soon enter the market as well.
In addition to competition, Amazon might have to contend with retailer wariness about partnering with a competitor. Sources state Amazon is trying to reel merchants in by giving them the chance to offer promotions/discounts on its site.
Amazon is also reportedly thinking of cross-selling merchants complementary services such as site development and data analysis. If major retailers adopt the system, it could provide Amazon with valuable user data about offline purchasing activity.