Amazon opens up payments Web service to all

Amazon's Flexible Payments Service, which allows developers to tap into Amazon's existing payments collection infrastructure, is now available to all.

Amazon continues to expand its set of web services. Flexible Payments Service (FPS), which allows developers to tap into Amazon's payments infrastructure, is now available to all, the company announced on Thursday.

Just like Amazon's other web services, Flexible Payments Service is based on its own infrastructure. Existing customers can pay using the same login credentials, shipping address and payment information they already have on file with Amazon, according to the company.

Amazon takes a cut of the transaction amount and a set fee, which differs depending on the amount and payment method. On credit card transactions greater than or equal to US$10, it takes a 2.9 percent cut and US$0.30. There is also special charging scale for micropayments below US$0.05. In this case Amazon takes 20 percent of the transaction amount, with a minimum fee of US$0.0025.

To reduce the development work needed to enable payments Amazon has put together a number "Quick Start" packages. Developers can use the "Aggregated" package to reduce processing costs by consolidating multiple transactions, including micro-payments, into a single, larger transaction. There are also packages for building marketplace applications or just doing basic one-time payments.

Sites can have payment transactions such as one-time payments, recurring payments and prepayments up and running in hours rather than days, promises Amazon.

There is also an FPS Sandbox to build and test applications without using real money or incurring any transaction charges.

To get developers hooked on the service Amazon has a special offer: developers who sign up before March 15 and launch their applications by June 1 can take advantage of free payment processing for the first 90 days or until total transaction volume reaches US$500,000.

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