Amazon’s Global Coin – Smart Move or Doomed to Fail

Amazon recently announced the launch of a global coin allowing game developers for the kindle fire to recognize it as a form of payment for in app purchases. This is not a new idea, far from it. One might remember that Facebook discontinued a similar service by the name of Facebook credits or Playspan’s credits before that. On the other hand, when have you seen Amazon launching a service and fails? That hardly happens.


While history might suggest Amazon is likely to fail, the reality is that amazon has all the tools to make this work. More then anything else, a meta credit system like the one amazon is launching is about bringing new money into the game. Imagine a scenario in which a grandmother wants to give a present to her grand kid. This is very hard to achieve with any sort of in app payment that requires the both of them to take action at the same time and decide in advance where they are going to spend the gift. The global coin solution acts in this situation very much like a gift card that can be used in various stores. This is one area where amazon brings specific expertise.

In addition the commerce giant has proven success in marketing digital products and specifically gift cards. One can imagine a how amazon can fit this product in their usual sales tools. For example, a kid could add the Amazon coins to his amazon wishlist. Another example would be recommending the Amazon coin as a complementing item to a kindle fire purchase. Last example but maybe the most interesting one is Amazon’s ability to use the global coin as a reward mechanism for loyal customers who buy consumer electronics or other type of products at the amazon store and will be more likely to buy at due to the reward. This practice in already in place by offer wall providers such as TapJoy but there is no doubt that Amazon could do a much better job with this being on both the mobile device side as well as the retail side of the equation.

These are all tools that amazon have proven success with and have refined over the years. From this reason, what might look like a gamble at first sight might actually be a very well thought of strategic move which can pay high dividends to the company.

From the developers perspective  services like this one are blessed as they improve monetization. So on that front as well, you can notice a series of tools amazon have launched to help game developers get more from the amazon platform. Amazon needs to work harder compared to Google an Apple to attract developers attention and the their strategy is creating a more complete eco-system and tools.

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