February 7, 2017 / 12:01 PM / 7 months ago

Amazon's payments unit nearly doubles money processed

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday said its payments business processed nearly twice as much money in 2016 than it did the year prior, as the e-commerce giant launched the unit in more countries and for a wider range of industries.

The service, Pay with Amazon, lets shoppers use their Amazon accounts instead of filling in their credit card information to make purchases on another organization's website.

The world's largest online retailer did not disclose how much money in total it processed but said the average purchase was $80 in 2016, down from $84 in 2015.

Seattle-based Amazon started the service in 2013 after several earlier attempts in the payments space, and it competes with PayPal Holdings Inc, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.

The number of customers who have tried Pay with Amazon since its inception increased to 33 million in 2016 from 23 million the previous year, Amazon said in a news release. Amazon takes a 2.9 percent cut for U.S. transactions, plus a 30-cent authorization fee, according to its website.

The service is another way Amazon is profiting from its trove of customers' credit card and shipping data, along with its marketplace platform that lets third-party sellers reach Amazon shoppers. Amazon said it expanded the payments business into France, Spain and Italy in 2016.

Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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