Amazon Wants to Own Your Checking Account Now, Too

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Updated on Wednesday, March 7, 2018

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Buying groceries, listening to your favorite audiobook, researching or watching TV … whatever activity you were engaged in today, there’s a good chance Amazon played a hand in some part of it. And now the online retail giant wants to be there for your banking needs, too.  

In a recent report by The Wall Street Journal, sources revealed Amazon is in talks with two of the country’s largest banking giants, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Capital One Financial Corp., to develop a potential checking account product.  

The company’s idea, according to the anonymous sources, is to create a basic checking account as well as provide an option for individuals without traditional bank accounts. This could result in two offerings — a simple checking account and a prepaid debit card — but the company hasn’t officially announced anything yet, so we won’t know for sure until then.  

It’s unknown whether the bank-like service would offer paper checks, direct bill paying or access to a nationwide ATM network.  

Amazon isn’t the only major retailer looking to get into the finance game. Walmart announced in 2014 its low-cost checking account service GoBank, a brand of Green Dot Bank. 

The FDIC-insured banking option through Walmart boasts no overdraft fees, no bounced check fees and no continuing minimum balance requirements. Additionally, there’s an $8.95 monthly fee that is waived altogether if you have a payroll or government direct deposit each month of at least $500.  

 More Amazon moves

It’s hard to imagine a time when Amazon was just a bookseller. Since it first went public in 1997, the company is now ranked the no. 1 online store in the nation, a constant source of innovative new technology with sales of $178 billion in 2017 alone.  

In August 2017, Amazon finalized its acquisition of Whole Foods, solidifying itself in its customers’ lives as a brick-and-mortar store. The company also began offering 5% cash back to Whole Foods shoppers who use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card.

In January 2018, the company took a step further with the release of its first cashless grocery store in Seattle. Artificial Intelligence and cameras throughout the store track customers and what they pick out, allowing for a seamless “just walk out” approach to grocery shopping.  

Amazon has surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization, with its value currently standing at over $747 billion vs Microsoft’s $722 billion, and with the support of its customers, doesn’t look like it’s slowing down anytime soon.

The retail (and now services) giant, could venture into several industries with as much enthusiasm from customers as there is for the possible new checking-account option.  

If Amazon were to expand into other services like health care, insurance, lending, investing and even its own form of cryptocurrency, there are plenty of people who are already on board.  

In a recent survey by LendEDU, 44.5% of respondents said they would trust Amazon as their checking account provider; 52% are open to an Amazon-based virtual currency; 38% trust the company as much as a traditional bank; 30.5% would utilize an Amazon investment service; and 36% would trust them with their retirement account. The trend is similar for lending services like mortgage, auto and personal as well as insurance options for health, auto and life.  

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