Amazon rejects Bitcoin, has big plans for other payments solutions

|By:, SA News Editor

"Obviously it gets a lot of press and we have considered it ... but we’re not hearing from customers that it’s right for them and don’t have any plans within Amazon (AMZN +1.3%) to engage Bitcoin (BITCN, BTCS)," says Amazon payments chief Tom Taylor.

Nonetheless, Taylor says payments is something Jeff Bezos now considers a priority. “The pressure I feel from Jeff is, ‘Go faster.’”

In an attempt to challenge PayPal's (EBAY +1%) online/mobile payments dominance, Amazon launched a payments solution for unaffiliated merchants last October. It's also reportedly working on a Kindle-based retail checkout system - Taylor wouldn't confirm or deny the project - and a PayPal-like P2P payments system.

Taylor even suggests Amazon is open to providing a payment-processing network that would compete against Visa and MasterCard. But he adds Amazon's offering "would really have to be something much better" than alternatives to launch.

In the near-term, Amazon wants to use mobile devices to eliminate "pain points" in offline payments - examples include using a phone to quickly pay for parking or a restaurant meal. PayPal has similar ideas.

A lingering issue for Amazon: Some retailers are uneasy about providing sales data to a major rival. For his part, Taylor insists "people we think of as competitors don’t have a payments problem."