A number of virtual currency systems are already in use around the globe. Amazon has joined that league by announcing its own virtual currency called ‘Amazon Coins.’ At the time of its launch, Amazon Coins will be available only to the U.S. customers and could be used by Kindle Fire users to pay for apps and in-app purchases.
The e-retail giant seems rather serious about Amazon Coins and has promised that once the service launches in May, it will be handing out tens of millions of dollars worth of Amazon Coins free to the customers. It remains to be seen what kind of incentive the new payment system holds for the developers.
It is possible that customers may be less reluctant in spending their Amazon Coins and that, in turn, may lead to more in-app purchases. Nonetheless, the developers will still get a 70% cut of the total app revenues, regardless of whether the users pay in Amazon Coins or through their credit cards.
Commenting on the new offering, Amazon’s Vice President of Apps and Games, Paul Ryder said, “Developers continue to report higher conversion rates on Amazon compared to other platforms. Now we have another new way to help developers reach even more of our millions of customers. Amazon Coins gives customers an easy way to spend money on developers’ apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore—and we’re giving customers tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to get started. Developers who aren’t yet in the Amazon Appstore will want to make sure their apps have been submitted and approved by April 25 so they’re ready for customers to start spending their Amazon Coins.”
Such developers who already have their apps on Amazon’s Appstore need not bother since their apps will be eligible for Amazon Coins by default. Once the service is launched in May, we shall see how it fares with the users.