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Amazon considers launching its own checking account

The product would target millennials and people without bank accounts

Photo (c) JurgaR - Getty Images
Amazon is said to be in early talks with JPMorgan Chase, Capital One, and other banks and financial firms about creating a “checking-account-like” product for its customers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Amazon-branded checking accounts would primarily target young customers and people without bank accounts.

Creating its own checking accounts would also help the e-commerce giant reduce fees it pays to financial institutions on every transaction and give the company a better look at customers’ income and spending habits.   

The initiative wouldn’t result in Amazon becoming a bank itself due to the capital rules and regulations that would accompany that move, sources tell the WSJ. The checking accounts would simply be a partnership with a bank that makes the best offer.

Expanding the Amazon ecosystem

The report indicates that talks are in the initial stages and may not ultimately result in the creation of a final product. Few details are currently available about how the checking account would actually work.

However, if the plan becomes a reality, it would give the online retailer another avenue for engaging customers offline.

The company has already targeted the grocery space through the acquisition of Whole Foods Markets. It also recently targeted the healthcare space by teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form an independent healthcare company for their employees in the United States.

Amazon-branded bank accounts wouldn’t be the company’s first foray into the financial sector. Amazon already offers “Amazon Cash,” which lets customers add cash to a digital wallet and purchase items online with it.

Amazon has been trying to bring Amazon Pay to brick-and-mortar stores and is likely to begin with Whole Foods, the WSJ report added.

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