Feeds

Amazon launches own currency

Web bazaar now 'coining it', for self and devs

Boost IT visibility and business value

Amazon.com has started printing its own money.

The company's effort, dubbed Amazon Coins, will be familiar to anyone that has acquired Microsoft Points or Nintendo Points, as the Coins require consumers to stump up real-world cash in return for a balance of online-only credit tied to a single store. Coins can be spent in Amazon's AppStore or on other goods from the company's site.

Currently offered to US customers only, and redeemable on Kindle Fire devices or at Amazon.com, Coins cost $US4.80 for 500 and are also sold in lots of 1000, 2500, 5000 and 10,000. The more one buys, the higher the discount, with 10,000 Coins costing $90 for a ten per cent discount.

The Coin:US Dollar exchange rate appears to be fixed at C100:$1.00.

Amazon will continue to accept credit cards and other payment mechanisms, but buying Coins will mean a route to discounts. Amazon's doubtless hoping Coins buyers will not spend all of their balance at once, giving it the chance to sit on that cash and perform clever balance sheet gymnastics made possible by punters who send it cash for Coins without actually buying stuff. Amazon can probably use the resulting cashflow boost, as its ability to produce profits is infamously erratic.

An Amazon Coin

An Amazon Coin

Coins are also being suggested as a way to make in-app purchases, a role Amazon is promoting to developers as a way to make more dough. Used in that role, Coins could be a handy way to keep kids' in-app spending under control. There's no indication, however, that Amazon has made it possible to buy Coins and direct them to another account, which puts the kybosh on that idea until Amazon tweaks its systems.

Every US-based Kindle Fire owner has been given 500 Coins, but the gift can only be spent on the Amazon Appstore. There's no word on when the rest of the world will be offered the chance to get their hands on Coins. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.