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July 23, 2014

Amazon launches digital wallet

Amazon Wallet sneaks out ahead of Fire phone launch this week.

By Vinod

Online retail giant Amazon has unveiled the first version of its own digital wallet app, Amazon Wallet, without the option to make mobile payments.

A beta version of the app, which will allow users to store gift cards and loyalty cards on their mobile device with the details linked to their existing Amazon account, was made available to download for iOS and Android devices today.

The app was quietly released without much fanfare from the company, which is putting much of its focus on the US launch of its highly-anticipated Fire smartphone on Friday (July 25), which will come with Amazon Wallet pre-installed.

It currently supports balance updates for 68 major US retailers including the likes of Dominos, Staples, and International House of Pancakes, with more set to join soon.

"Use the Amazon Wallet app to simplify your shopping trips, and never lose another gift card or rewards membership number," the Amazon Wallet homepage said. "Scan or type your gift cards, loyalty cards and membership cards to your Amazon Wallet to reduce the clutter in your leather wallet or purse."

"Wherever you are, the information you need is easily available as a barcode, QR code, text or image. For supported merchants, check the balance of your stored gift cards. Information saved in your Amazon Wallet is stored securely in the Amazon cloud."

After you add a card to your Amazon Wallet, the gift card balance will automatically appear for supported merchants. Details of scanned Amazon Wallet cards can also be viewed and edited on a dedicated mobile and online site, where users can also find the credit cards, bank accounts, and other payment methods saved in their Amazon account.

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The launch of Amazon Wallet comes in the wake of several leading payments providers, including Visa and Google, also launching digital wallet services. Recent predictions from Juniper Research estimate that one fifth of all mobile devices will feature some kind of a digital wallet by 2018, with growth beign driven by increased demand from developing markets.


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