Is Amazon launching a PayPal rival?

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Amazon looks set to launch its own online payment service, in a bid to take on the dominant player, the eBay-owned PayPal.

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According to Reuters, Amazon customers who store their credit or debit card data when they make a purchase at the website will then be able to use those details to pay for other services, such as phone bills or digital music subscriptions.

Tom Taylor, vice president of seller services, told Reuters: “You should see it as one of many things that we’ll do to expand where people might think about Amazon helping them.”

Reuters says that Amazon has been testing the new service over the past few months with start-ups including Ting, a mobile phone company. Those who used recurring payments by Amazon spent 30 percent more on Ting’s website.

News of the new service comes ahead of next week’s unveiling by Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos of what is widely expected to be the company’s first smartphone.

Stuart O’Connor