Amazon Payments Review


Overall Rating Breakdown
Sales & Marketing Tactics
Costs & Contract Terms
Complaints & Service
BBB Rating Not Rated

Amazon Payments

"A" Credit Card Processor Rating
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Amazon Payments Overview

Amazon Payments Logo

Amazon Payments Logo

Amazon Payments (payments.amazon.com) is an electronic payment service that allows Amazon.com customers to pay for purchases on other websites by using their Amazon.com account. Amazon customers simply store their credit card and shipping information in their Amazon Payments account and then can checkout without having to enter payment information again on websites that accept Amazon Payments. The service is similar to PayPal and Google Checkout in that customers can either pay with the information stored in their accounts or enter payment information during the checkout process.

On August 13, 2014, Amazon launched a new service called Amazon Local Register. Similar to Square, the service utilizes a free app and a swiper that can be plugged into phones or tablets to enable merchants to accept payments. Amazon Local Register integrates with a merchant’s Amazon Payments account. For more information about Amazon Local Register, please see our Amazon Local Register review.

This Amazon Payments review is only going to focus on the Amazon Payments business account used by merchants for accepting payments from customers. Amazon offers two different services called “Checkout by Amazon” and “Amazon Simple Pay” that serve varying business needs and will be covered in detail below.

Checkout by Amazon

Checkout by Amazon is a service specifically tailored for e-commerce retailers that sell tangible goods. An advantage that the service offers over many of its competitors is that the default checkout process takes place without the customer leaving the retailer’s website. This is accomplished by using one of two different checkout options. The first and easiest to implement, called “Standard Checkout,” opens a co-branded pop-up window to Amazon Payments that allows the customer to complete the transaction. Although this is the simplest method, the drawback is that the pop-up may be blocked by a customer’s web browser and could result in lost sales.

The second, called “Login and Pay with Amazon,” keeps the entire checkout process on the retailer’s website but requires more advanced programming knowledge to implement. Merchants that have a high volume of sales, but lack the programming knowledge, are advised to seek out an experienced web developer to install this option.

Amazon Simple Pay

Amazon Simple Pay is for businesses that sell digital and virtual products (eBooks, stock photos, WordPress themes, etc.) or subscription services, or that need to facilitate payments between buyers and sellers of an online marketplace. Simple Pay can also be used to collect online donations.

Nearly all of Amazon Simple Pay’s applications are simple to implement by copying and pasting code snippets into the merchant’s website. Amazon also includes a back-end dashboard that allows merchants to manage sales and recurring transactions.

Click to see a video explanation of Amazon Payments

Amazon Payments Sales & Marketing Tactics | A+

Key Points – Sales & Marketing 
Uses independent resellers? No
Promotes deceptive rate quotes? No
Discloses all important terms? Yes

Amazon uses no misleading sales tactics or marketing of its Amazon Payments service. The service is primarily marketed through Amazon’s traditional channels, and the company does not engage in any deceptive rate quoting that is apparent to this reviewer. In addition, there are no merchant complaints indicating that Amazon misrepresents its fees or fails to disclose important terms.

Amazon Payments Costs & Contract Terms | A

Key Points – Costs & Contract Terms
Swiped rate: 2.9% + $0.30 or less
Keyed-in rate: 2.9% + $0.30 or less
Termination fee: None
PCI compliance fee: None
Equipment lease: None

Amazon Payments has no setup fees, monthly fees or cancellation fees. Processing fees vary based on the Amazon Payments account type, the payment method being used by the customer, and the volume of sales. As a general rule, higher-volume merchants who use more secure payment types will pay less in processing fees through Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple pay.

Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay Fees

Sale amounts greater than or equal to $10:

  • 2.9% + $0.30 for all transactions

Sales amount less than $10

  • 5.0% + $0.05 for all transactions

Monthly Volume Rate Discounts

  • 2.5% + $.30 for all transactions for monthly payment volume from $3k-$10k
  • 2.2% + $.30 for all transactions for monthly payment volume from $10k – $100k
  • 1.9% + $.30 for all transactions for monthly payment volume over $100k

Other Payments Methods (excludes Checkout by Amazon and Amazon Simple Pay)

Amazon Payments Fees
Payment Method Less than $0.05 $0.05 to $9.99 $10.00 and more
Bank Account
2% of transaction + $0.05
2% of transaction+ $0.05 2% of transaction
+ $0.05
U.S. Credit Card
5% of transaction
+ $0.05
5% of transaction
+ $0.05
2.9% of transaction
+ $0.30 *
International Credit Card
6% of transaction
+ $0.05
6% of transaction
+ $0.05
3.9% of transaction
+ $0.30 *
Amazon Payments Stored Funds
20% of transaction value, minimum fee of $0.0025
1.5% of transaction
+ $0.01
1.5% of transaction
+ $0.01

* Credit card sales that qualify for volume rate discounts

Amazon Payments Business Accounts that have good standing and have a high volume over three months in a row can apply for the discounted rates below:

Business Account Volume Discounts – Credit Cards
Type of Card $3K-10K $10K-100K $100K or more
U.S.
Credit Card
2.5% of transaction
+ $0.30
2.2% of transaction
+ $0.30
1.9% of transaction
+ $0.30
International
Credit Card
3.5% of transaction
+ $0.30
3.2% of transaction
+ $0.30
2.9% of transaction
+ $0.30

Account Transaction Limits

All Amazon Payments Business Accounts start with a $500 limit for receiving funds until the merchant adds a credit card to the account. Once a credit card has been added, merchants can receive up to $10,000 in payments. If a verified bank account is also added the limit can be raised significantly or removed altogether.

Generally speaking, the rates offered by Amazon are similar to those offered by PayPal and other online payment processors. This, coupled with the absence of hidden fees, makes the service a very affordable option.

Amazon Payments Complaints & Service | A

Key Points – Complaints & Service
Total complaints: 250+
Live customer support: Yes
Most common complaint: Hidden fees

For a business of its size, Amazon Payments has relatively few complaints filed online. The majority of complaints appear to be filed by consumers rather than merchants. Most of the customer complaints are directed towards the sites that use Amazon Payments, with Amazon Payments getting blamed for problems that look to have been caused by the websites themselves.

Of the few merchant complaints, the majority are attributed to the holding of a merchant’s funds by Amazon or poor customer service from Amazon. Upon reading these complaints, most of them appear to be based on the merchant simply not understanding how Amazon Payments handles the payment process. A handful of complaints also report glitches in the account setup process.

Amazon Payments handles most of its customer support through email, and this reviewer had difficulty locating a dedicated Amazon Payments phone number for customer support; however, this number is Amazon’s general support line: (866) 216-1072.

If you know of a dedicated support line for Amazon Payments, please leave it in the comment section below.

Amazon Payments BBB Report | N/A

Amazon Payments does not have a dedicated Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile; however, Amazon itself holds an “A+” rating with the BBB. Given the fact that this profile is not an accurate representation of merchant satisfaction with Amazon Payments, we will not factor a BBB report into the company’s overall rating.

Bottom Line

Overall, Amazon Payments scores well. The standout benefits of the service are that there are no monthly fees and there are simple implementation methods to choose from. The drawbacks are that the processing fees are slightly higher than a traditional merchant account and customers must also have an account to use it as a form of payment. Since not every customer will have an Amazon.com account, Amazon Payments is best used as an additional payment alternative to other payment options.

This review was originally published on 12/11/12 and was last updated on 8/13/14.

Leave your review of Amazon Payments in the comment section below:


Amazon Payments Review

Rated 3.5 Out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by Phillip Parker
Reviewed on 2014-08-13 13:47:27

UPDATED: June 20, 2014 – There are relatively few Amazon Payments negative reviews filed online. The majority of complaints appear to be filed by consumers rather than merchants. Most of the customer complaints are directed towards the sites that use Amazon Payments (payments.amazon.com) with Amazon Payments getting blamed for problems that look to have been caused by the websites themselves. Of the few merchant complaints, the majority are attributed to the holding of a merchant’s funds by Amazon… Learn more in this Amazon Payments review.

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About the author

Phillip Parker

Phillip Parker is a former merchant services agent turned small business advocate and the author of "Fee Sweep," which teaches merchants how to dramatically lower their processing rates, eliminate junk fees, and avoid fine-print scams. He founded CardPaymentOptions.com to help merchants enact positive change in the credit card processing industry.



 
Phillip can help you find an ethical and honest processor that will offer you great rates. Click here to request a free provider consultation.

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14 comments

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  1. dave

    In August 2014 I helped fund a Kickstarter Campaign which after completing required payment via Amazon Payments. Despite having a payment account with them for years and money in the bank my payment failed to go though, my account was put on hold and I was told to prove my identity by the very people who’d declined the payment – Amazon!

    The following weeks spent trying to prove my ID (via a fax FFS!) proved that Amazon are inept, discourteous and one of those monolithic corporate entities that should be brought to it’s knees ASAP.

    Their ineptitude cause embarrasement when my payment had failed to go through initially and caused me to contact the Kickstarter campaign people directly to arrange payment via Paypal. However, at no time during the hoop-jumping did Amazon even attempt to speed the ‘ID proof’ process up at all; instead choosing to slow things down to the point where I threatened to cancel my account entirely. I would have done exactly that but the arbitrary suspension refused me access to that part of the account.

    Finally, after weeks and weeks of deafening silence, my account was quietly reactivated – with no apology, no advisement, no nothing!

    I don’t write bad reviews of company’s because the truth is I’m too busy for that. However, in this case I’ll happily make an exception. Amazon payments is little more than an anagram for ‘incompetence’ and i strongly urge any company who are considering doing business with them to look elsewhere.

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    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  2. Simone

    Amazon Payments is HORRIBLE! In addition to lying to me to get me to sign my business up, the lost my money and were extremely rude. I was put on hold for over a hour several times, and hung up on mo less than 6 times. It took well over 4 hours of persistence on my part before they began to rectify my issue (which was their fault in the first place). I strongly suggest not working with amazon payments!

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    3 / 3 found this review helpful.
  3. El

    Amazon Payments is ridiculous. I’ve been trying all week to verify my bank account. Their fax number isn’t working, they’re sending me generic responses to my emails that in no way help me (me: I tried faxing the number given and it says the number is down, Amazon Payments: to verify your account fax ID to this number, me: I just told you I tried and that number isn’t working, Amazon Payments: to verify your account fax ID…). In short, the customer service is nonexistent. If this service has an A rating I don’t know how. Obviously my situation isn’t an anomaly because I’m seeing complaints everywhere, in other words, this author did not do much research.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    6 / 7 found this review helpful.
  4. Richard Hockman

    If you want to loose your money, use this service.
    There is no way to register a scam. Almost fell for a $78K scam using Amazon Simple Pay.
    Wouldn’t use this service to sell S**t.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    1 / 1 found this review helpful.
  5. Mike D

    This is obviously an advertisement for Amazon Payments, and frankly its very untrue. First problem you have with amazon payments is your customers will see that Amazon logo and think “hmmm, why don’t I just buy this right on Amazon”. Second, they will mess with merchants putting reserves on your account, or better yet in our case, they will let you transact, then hold you money in reserve and then send you an email saying “we cannot verify your information” – if you cannot verify information, why did you allow the account to collect funds from customers in the first place? I am sure Amazon does not need my pennies, so my conclusion is – this service and people involved are absolutely clueless – which is even worse then if it was some type of scam. Don’t even get me started on poorly written API documentation and horrible technical support who know nothing.

    Stick with PayPal, trust me, its going to be around while Amazon Payments after trying their 4th version of the service will inevitably fail.

    Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

    4 / 4 found this review helpful.
    1. Phillip Parker

      Thanks for your review, Mike. I can assure you that our review is not an advertisement of any kind for Amazon Payments. Can you give me specific examples from my review which you believe to be “untrue”? The points that you made in your comment are not mentioned in my review.

      Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

      1. Madan

        I can give you one. I would like to know how you concluded that they have a A rated service. Looks like many have had issues with it. Here is mine:

        So for some reason the Send Money option has been suspended. I sent an email to customer support and forgot about it. I don’t use it often. About a month later I had to use it again. There was no response to email yet, so I called them. The customer specialist said she saw my email, followed by the usual flurry of apologies and she said she would ‘escalate’ it. I should wait for 24 hours and at the maximum 48. I waited for a week. No response.

        So I called them again, this time the specialist said she did not see that I had previously contacted them. But, again apologies, ‘escalate’ it to account specialist. I asked her send me a copy of that email so I would have some record. She said she would do it. Lo and behold, no email from her too.

        Would you call this A-rated service? I wouldn’t.

        Did you find this review helpful? Yes   No

        6 / 6 found this review helpful.
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