Amazon Payments Review: Should Your Business Use it?

Amazon Payments Review: Should Your Business Use it?

Good credit card processing solution. Competitive against other options like Stripe
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Good credit card processing solution. Competitive against other options like Stripe
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Amazon Payments, sometimes referred to as Amazon Pay, is a decent option for businesses looking for an online-only solution to handle credit and debit card payments. If you’re after something more robust that can also take ACH, PayPal or Bitcoin transactions, you should consider checking out other options, like Stripe or Braintree. Overall, we recommend Amazon Payments because it’s reasonably priced, and has both advanced and basic integration options that should fit all users.

Review: Is Amazon Payments A Good Credit Card Processor?

Amazon Payments can be a great credit card processor, especially for companies already selling merchandise through the online giant. It offers plenty of integration options – from a custom API to eCommerce plugins – while remaining relatively inexpensive.

Good For…

Bad For…
Companies that are just starting outBusiness owners who would like to accept PayPal and crypto currencies
Firms looking for online-only credit and debit card processingThose looking for one processor to handle both in-person and online transactions

Amazon Payments doesn’t do anything revolutionary in terms of how its pricing works. You pay 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction, with no monthly fees or minimums. There are also no additional setup costs involved. This is the same pricing scheme we’ve seen from online processing giants like Stripe and PayPal. The main disadvantage of using Amazon Payments is that it can handle fewer payment types than those other options we listed. In addition to credit card and debit card payments, for example, Stripe can handle ACH and Bitcoin transactions. PayPal Here and Braintree are capable of accepting payments through your customers’ PayPal account. If you’re interested in maximizing the number of payment options your customers have, this may be an important thing to consider.

Among the dozens of credit card processors we looked at, Amazon Payments has one of the lowest rates for handling international transactions. They only tack on an additional 1% fee per transaction, on top of their standard 2.9% + $0.30. Stripe, for example, would charge you a 2% fee for that same transaction. If a substantial portion of your customer base lives outside of the United States, you should consider how this will impact your bottom line.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that Amazon Payments has no in person solution. If you want to use the same payment processor your eCommerce website as you do for your brick and mortar locations, you’ll need to look at Square or PayPal instead.

Bottom Line: Amazon Payments is one of the better online-only credit card processors. While it can’t handle PayPal or ACH transactions, it offers reasonable prices and doesn't come with a lot of overhead costs that makes it perfect for companies that are just starting out and want a simple low-cost solution.

Amazon Payment Fees, Features & Benefits

Amazon Payments charges a fixed 2.9% + $0.30 fee for handling all domestic transactions. This is an industry-standard rate for online debit and credit card payments. Cross-border fees are a little bit more expensive, costing 3.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

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Amazon Payments Credit Card ProcessingDetails
Transaction Cost
  • Online (Domestic): 2.9% + $0.30
  • Online (Foreign Currency): 3.9% + $0.30

Networks Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • Discover
  • American Express
Monthly FeeNone
Monthly MinimumNone
Online Integration OptionsAPI, eCommerce Plugins

When it comes to implementing Amazon Payments into your website you have one of two options – using their API or using a plugin on a pre-built eCommerce platform. The latter will be the easiest to do for someone that has no technical resources, and who can’t code themselves. However, using a third party eCommerce platform can sometimes come with an additional monthly cost, which may be undesirable for businesses that are just starting out. Some of the platforms Amazon Payments is compatible with include:

  • BigCommerce
  • Magento
  • Shopify
  • OpebCard
  • PrestaShop
  • 3dcart
  • Lemonstand
  • Miva
  • Shopsite
  • xCart

You can search through more integration options by visiting Amazon’s website, to see if your eCommerce solution of choice is compatible with this card processor.

As mentioned, you can also use an API to build a custom solution into your website. Amazon Payments’s API is compatible with PHP, Java, Ruby, Python and C# SDKs. Their website also provides fairly well documented and detailed instructions on how to use the API, along with example code posted for each. They explicitly break down how to set up purchase buttons, recurring payments or how to forward customers to checkout through the Amazon website. You can see the full documentation here.

Amazon no longer offers in-person credit card processing. They used to provide mobile credit card processing through a service called Amazon Local Register, though this has been discontinued.

How Much Can Amazon Pay Credit Card Processing Cost Your Business

To give you a better idea of the actual monthly cost of using Amazon Payments, we modeled it for a few sample business. The costs scale linearly as you process more payments. What's a little less obvious is how the average size of your sale will impact total costs.

Estimating The Monthly Cost of Amazon Payments Credit Card Processing

Transaction Volume (Monthly)$20 Average Sale$75 Average Sale$200 Average Sale$1,000 Average Sale

How Does Amazon Payments Compare to Other Credit Card Processors?

Most business owners know that to get the best deal, they’ll need to shop and compare different available options. To that end, we took a look at how Amazon Payments measures up against other leading credit card processors.

Amazon Payments vs Stripe

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The chief difference between Stripe and Amazon Payments is how developer-friendly they are. Stripe has a reputation in the tech industry as being extremely easy to work with. As Amazon Payments is less popular, it hasn't garnered a similar reputation. Stripe supports more platforms – Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, Node.js, Go, Android, iOS. Therefore, if you’re looking to build payment processing into your website or app, Stripe may be easier to implement than Amazon Payments.

Stripe is more expensive than Amazon Payment at processing international transactions. As we pointed out in the review, Stripe charges an extra 2% fee for each transaction in a foreign currency, placing the per-transaction cost at 4.9% + $0.30, compared to Amazon Payments’s 3.9% + $0.30.

Stripe Highlights

  • Handles ACH and Bitcoin payments
  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Only available for online payment processing
  • Full Review

Amazon Payments vs PayPal

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PayPal is a very good online credit card processor, especially for business owners who don’t have a lot of technical resources, and want to simply add “buy now” buttons to their website. Anything more advanced than that will be more expensive through PayPal then it would otherwise be with Amazon Payments. Access to PayPal’s API is only available through PayPal Payments Pro, which comes with a $30 monthly fee. As we noted above, you don't have to pay anything extra to use Amazon Payment's API, giving them a leg up.

A major downside for Amazon Payments is that the service cannot process PayPal transactions. It’s generally a good idea to give your customers the greatest number of options possible at checkout. Therefore, all else being equal, PayPal has this as an advantage over Amazon Payments. With how popular PayPal is for online transactions, this is an important consideration to make.

PayPal Highlights

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Has online and offline payment processing options
  • Access to API costs $30 per month
  • Full Review

Amazon Payments vs Braintree

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Braintree is another online-only credit card processor that is very similar to Amazon Payments. Because the company is owned by PayPal, Braintree is capable of processing PayPal payments. One advantage Braintree has over both Amazon Payments and PayPal is its ability to accept crypto currencies, like Bitcoin. As we mentioned in the previous comparison, this may be an important point to consider, since you will want to present your customers with the greatest possible number of options at checkout. Beyond that, there are very few differences between Amazon Payments and Braintree.

Braintree Highlights

  • 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • No monthly fees
  • Capable of processing crypto currencies like Bitcoin
  • Full Review

Yowana is a former product analyst at ValuePenguin, specializing in credit cards, rewards programs and travel. He previously covered mortgages, banking and insurance for the website. Yowana graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science.

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