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October 29, 2021

Shopping on your cell phone: made easy by Amazon

Anyone who shops on Amazon swears by Amazon.

The site has anything you’d ever want, for prices that are – more often than not – better than those offered by local big box retailers.

But it’s the ease of Amazon that makes it stand out above the rest.

Its checkout methods, which allow your mailing/billing info to be stored securely, are far and away the easiest to use online. In many cases, a few clicks are all your order takes.

Yet it appears Amazon wasn’t content with just dominating other online marketplaces; they want to obliterate them.

The web retailer has just unveiled a new payment method called PayPhrase, which makes checkout on the site even speedier.

All shoppers will need to do now is enter a pre-determined unique phrase – something no one else would guess, like “pink Chihuahua” or “Horatio Sanz is hilarious” – and a four-digit PIN to complete their transaction.

That’s it.

What’s even more intriguing than PayPhrase’s ability to capitalize on society’s need to impulse buy is what it might mean for the future of mobile shopping.

No one’s really buying things en masse on their smartphones now, but with PayPhrase, why couldn’t we start?

Each step needed to complete a transaction on a mobile web browser chips away at our incentive to buy, yet PayPhrase could theoretically trim the pageviews needed to complete a purchase to three (from homepage to product page to checkout.) That’s pretty easy, no?

Indeed, it’d be tough to bet against Amazon revolutionizing the way we shop yet again. It supports, after all, the ease-of-payment model some people suggest could save even newspapers.

What do you think? If it’s easy enough, is shopping on your mobile phone something you could see yourself doing?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...