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What is Amazon Pay Places and why is it important? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

We Accept Amazon Pay

Over 75 percent of American smartphone owners have this app. It crosses the iOS and Android barriers and even companies that compete with the app, their employees and executives have this app and they use it with regularity. What is this app? It is the Amazon app and it is one of the most ubiquitous apps downloaded in the US and in some age cohorts it bypasses even Facebook with installed base.

Thank God It’s Friday?

On July 19th, 2017, Amazon exposed a new feature to this app, it is called Amazon Pay Places [1] and it fundamentally changes how retail payments will be made in the future. For now, Amazon Pay Places is only available for pickup orders at T.G.I. Fridays restaurants in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, Va. and Wilkes-Barre, Pa. But this will change soon.

During the test, to access Amazon Pay Places, you tap on the drop-down menu to access the app’s navigation, then tap on “Programs & Features”. The system is tied to an order ahead function that sends the order to T.G.I. Friday’s Micros POS system. Via the Amazon app, users will receive updates and the status of the order.

Amazon Pay Everywhere

As Amazon Pay Places expands it will become another way for people to cut out cash or plastic and switch to digital payments. Amazon will extend new services that already have Apple, Samsung, PayPal and others all working on digital-payments services for both online and in-store shoppers. The impact to companies like Square, Stripe and PayPal will be more than trivial as merchants and consumers bypass traditional payment methods. In the small to medium merchant cohort, an online or retail business could today just accept Amazon Pay and perhaps reach 90% of their customers in the US. There is no need for a traditional merchant account, machine or dongle when Amazon Pay is already in the customer’s pocket. This also should be worrisome to Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover as consumers lose payment brand awareness and replace it with merchant payment brand awareness. In 2013 I presented a first responder notice to the payment industry that Amazon Pay would become quite large [2]. Few took this seriously and most payment companies are not prepared for a useful response.

Merchant: “Sure I will accept Amazon Pay, why the heck not?”

Amazon has a great selling angle to small and medium merchants, the service is more convenient than downloading multiple apps for a handful of different stores and restaurants, it is also well known to the consumer and they likely already know how to navigate through the app. The merchant will likely pay less than a typical Visa or MasterCard transaction, but this is not the largest selling aspect to the merchant.

Amazon is the largest shopping aggregator in the US with over 65% of sales being serviced via thousands of Amazon Marketplace merchants. There is nearly 100% certainty that if you shop at Amazon, most of your purchases are from independent merchants. This shopping aggregation experience will have a powerful effect in retail sales as it can be a very useful new tool for merchant discovery and discounts.

We can expect functionality to be such that when…