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Amazon unveils payment system for smartphones

Look out, Apple and eBay

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Amazon has unveiled a service that allows smartphone users to pay for music, applications and other content without having to enter credit card numbers into their devices.

The service, known as Mobile Payments Service, is a set of application programming interfaces developers can plug into websites so they work seamlessly with payment information stored on the Amazon mother ship. Mobile content provider Handmark is already using the service on some 50 mobile storefronts that work with iPhones, Blackberries and handsets running Android, Windows Mobile, Palm OS and other operating systems.

The new service allows mobile users shopping online to click the familiar "Pay with Amazon" button, so they can be redirected to a page hosted by Amazon Payments. They can then choose a payment method already stored by Amazon and be redirected back to the original website, where they download the content or app just paid for. E-commerce sites that already use Amazon Payments Service will automatically detect when visitors are using a smartphone and automatically switch to the mobile-optimized interface.

The service competes with eBay's PayPal and Apple's iTunes, both of which already allow millions of smartphone users to buy content using payment details that are already on file. More details, from Paid Content and ReadWriteWeb are here and here. ®

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