Amazon intends on developing its own virtual currency this May, which will allow Kindle Fire owners to purchase apps and games. The new program dubbed Amazon Coins, will also allow users to purchase in-game items.
“Amazon Coins gives customers an easy way to spend money on developers’ apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore,” said Paul Ryder, vice president of apps and games for Amazon. “Developers who aren’t yet in the Amazon Appstore will want to make sure their apps have been submitted and approved by April 25 so they’re ready for customers to start spending their Amazon Coins.”
The new virtual currency should allow Amazon to separate themselves from other app markets, such as Google Play and iTunes. In order to facilitate a successful launch, millions of coins will be given away for all current users, as incentive to use the new program.
Developers will earn 70% commission on in-app purchases from customers using Amazon Coins. There is no word yet on the cost of the coins, or whether or not they will be on a 1:1 ratio with the US dollar. Currently, this new program will only be available for US customers at launch, with no word on a broader international release. I see this as being a relief to parents that want to limit how much their kids spent on apps, games, and other content. Instead of using their parents credit card, kids could be allocated a monthly amount of virtual currency to pay for stuff. It could really start to teach children effective money management.
We should have a clearer indication of the exact logistics, closer to the release date.