Report: Amazon/Bango deal points to Kindle Fire in-app payments
Mobile payment and analytics firm Bango has signed an agreement to provide services to digital retail giant Amazon.com, and while details of the partnership are unknown, reports indicate it could bring carrier billing options to Amazon's Appstore for Android and/or in-app purchase capabilities to the Kindle Fire tablet.
Bango confirmed the agreement with a brief statement reading "The terms of this agreement are not being disclosed. The Board believes it is too early in the relationship to accurately forecast the level of business which it may generate." But given that Bango provides app store billing services for Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry App World as well as Opera Software's Opera Mobile Store, the firm could do the same for Amazon, which rolled out its Appstore for Android earlier this year.
A Bango spokesperson told TechCrunch the company couldn't share additional information, citing "commercial sensitivities" and adding "This was very much just a regulatory announcement that Bango was required to release as it is a publicly quoted company. We hope to be able to release more information in 2012."
While carrier billing would simplify life for consumers downloading premium applications from Amazon Appstore for Android, the company's retail expertise calls into question why it would hand off billing responsibilities to operators. Xconomy concludes Bango will instead enable in-app payments within applications optimized for the new Kindle Fire tablet, an Android-powered unit that supports Wi-Fi but does not run over carrier networks.
In October, Amazon said it is working to bring in-app purchase capabilities to the Kindle Fire, which began shipping last month. At present, all apps available for download to Kindle Fire users must be optimized for non-Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Mobile Services Android 2.3.4--because Google's in-app purchase mechanisms rely on Google Mobile Services, the option is available across Kindle Fire apps. Amazon stated it is developing an alternative approach using its own merchandising and payments technology--that solution is currently in beta and available on an invitation-only basis.
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