Last week I received an email from Amazon introducing Amazon Payphraseand inviting me to create my own Payphrase. It sounded so simple and useful. As they noted in the first sentence, I’m “a frequent Amazon.com shopper”.
I wasn’t happy about that point since I’ve really cut down my online shopping the past six months. But I was curious as to what this new service meant.
Basically, you come up with a phrase you’ll remember and link it to your stored payment method and shipping address information. Then use the payphrase and PIN on the payment screen at Amazon.com and six other online retailers. The benefits according to Amazon are privacy, quicker checkout and parental controls.
Sounds good, right? Well, I have serious concerns about he first two claimed benefits. How is it more private for Amazon.com to know your spending patterns at the other retailers? It’s not any of their business but they would be able to track this information and market to you accordingly.
Yes the other websites won’t have your credit card information but these are reputable retailers as trustworthy as Amazon. It seems a little to big brother to me.
Now let’s talk about the second benefit which is easier checkout. I guess the easy part is because you don’t have to enter your credit card information and shipping address. However, you can create accounts and enter this information only once (like I do at Amazon…remember I’m a frequent shopper).
I must admit the third benefit is pretty cool and will be really beneficial to parents of college students. If you have kids that can buy their own items it would be convenient to set up a spending limit and give them the payphrase with corresponding PIN. You don’t have to worry about going over-budget if you set the amount to cover textbooks only.
For now, I’m not going to use the Payphrase feature as the negatives outweigh the positive. Is this something you’ll use?
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