Amazon Payment Services

Looks like activity around Amazon's web services is heating up. In the latest issue of their web services newsletter, the following revelation:
We are almost ready to kick off the beta for our payment system. The payment system will allow visitors to your site to use their Amazon account to pay you for any product or service. You can also offer subscriptions and controlled access to content. You will be able to verify the status of any transaction to make sure that the user has not rescinded it. We will provide you with a base-level API and you can construct your business logic on top.
Given their recent push into becoming a software platform company, it's not surprising they're extending their payment system to the web at large. And since the only other major player in this space, eBay/PayPal, has an almost unusably terrible API, they're almost certain to do well.

With this new area of expansion for Amazon, Google's API actually seems even more anemic in comparison, given its limited range of functionality. Yet Google Hacks was an unqualified success, indicating just how much people want to expand on powerful web apps. That suggests that a well-documented, full-featured API like Amazon's is going to change the web much more profoundly than even the web services hype might indicate.

Now the only question is whether we'll be seeing some hacks for the payment system in the second edition of Paul's book. Until then, it'll be fascinating to see how this significant expansion for the Amazon API will change the dynamics of payment systems on the web. Think we'll finally get the micropayments we gave up on years ago?

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