Report: Amazon to Offer Checking Accounts for Customers
Amazon.com is considering partnering with Wall Street's top banks in an effort to build a "checking account-like" product for customers, according to a report in Monday's Wall Street Journal. Reportedly, the online retailer is in early talks with financial institutions including J.P. Morgan and Capital One Financial Corp. to help launch the accounts, which would be aimed at younger customers and those without banking accounts. While people familiar with the situation told the Journal the discussions are in the early stages, such a venture would add yet another entity to Amazon's expanding portfolio, which now includes grocery stores and its digital assistant, Alexa. A potential partnership with J.P. Morgan would also represent the second major agreement involving Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and J.P. Morgan's chief, Jamie Dimon, in the past year. Bezos, Dimon and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett recently announced a joint effort to reduce health care costs for their employees. The companies together employ more than 1.1 million workers.
Total Retail's Take: Score another one for Amazon. If the online behemoth can swing it, a "checking account-like" product would surely help the company (not that it needs anymore help!). For starters, Amazon could use the partnership with the banks to construct a more seamless relationship with its millions of customers — they could pay for all their purchases via an Amazon-branded checking account. And it appears that consumers would be open to it. According to a LendEDU survey released last week, roughly 45 percent of respondents were open to using Amazon as their primary bank account, while 49.6 percent would use a savings account created by the company. Naysayers, however, fear that Bezos’ influence is reaching too far and wide, and away from the online retail world Amazon already dominates. Would consumers really be open to doing business with The First National Bank of Amazon? We'll have to wait and see.