Back in the summer of 2014, Amazon quietly launched a new app on their own Appstore and Google Play. Now, it is not usually major news when companies quietly launch apps, as the big apps they send out, they usually want you to know about. As such, they typically come with a full fanfare en route. However, this was one Amazon were less keen to shout out and maybe why the app was only released as a beta app. Which is unusual for Amazon and their normally straight-to-market polished apps.
The app in question was Amazon Wallet and as the name suggests, was a kind of alternative to Google Wallet. However, that ‘alternative’ tag is very loosely used, as the app never really offered the same degree of function or service as the Google option. In fact, the Amazon one was rather bare bones in comparison. Instead of being a fully fledged payment offering, the Amazon Wallet app was more of gift or reward card storage wallet. Either way, the latest is that the Amazon Wallet (in its current format) has come to the end of its life cycle with the retail giant announcing the closure of the program. In a response on the matter to CNET (source link below), Amazon spokesperson Tom Cook said “We have learned a great deal from the introduction of the Wallet and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers,.”
Whether this is really the end of an Amazon based e-wallet is yet to be determined. Although Google and Apple seem to be dominating the mobile payments industry, Amazon never really looked to be hitting this particular market that hard and instead seemed to take much more of a backseat driver approach with this app. As such, this really could just be the end of pre-determined testing phase, compared to the markings of a failed service. After all, we have already established with the Fire Phone that Amazon are not so keen to give up on the ideas they pursue, regardless of how much of a flop they might be. Either way though, for now, it does look like Amazon Wallet has reached the end of its short six-month existence.