Reports: Amazon looks to offer checking accounts for customers

U.S. & World

NEW YORK (WCMH) — Amazon is considering a partnership with the nation’s top banks to create a “checking-account-like” product for customers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The report says Amazon is already talking with banks such as JP Morgan Chase to launch the accounts which would be aimed at younger customers.

“The underlying goal is to further grow its Prime membership through cross-selling into existing J.P. Morgan customers and this could lead to more initiatives down the road,” Dan Ives, chief strategy officer and head of technology research at GBH Insights, told CNBC in an email. “Ultimately, Amazon is in fifth gear, trying to double down on the consumer and the finance vertical looks like the next step (through partnerships) of adding to the Amazon flywheel.”

By law, Amazon would not be allowed to make loans.

“Amazon can collect deposits so long as it’s not issuing loans,” said Dick Bove, equity research analyst at the Vertical Group. “I’d assume that if an arrangement is created that it would be like the Apple Pay arrangement. Apple has a relationship with a number of banks, using their payment systems, but clearly, Apple is not in the banking business.”

This would be just the latest addition to Amazon’s portfolio, which now includes grocery stores and its digital assistant, Alexa. The internet giant, however, is not commenting on the plans.

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