Amazon took a fresh swing at PayPal today by launching a new payment service that enables people to pay for bills and subscriptions, Reuters reports. More specifically, Amazon's 240 million active users will be able to use credit card data stored on the site to pay a phone bill, a digital music subscription, whatever—with Amazon exacting a transaction fee. Amazon has already challenged Ebay Inc's PayPal by allowing partner sites to offer a "Login and Pay with Amazon" option on their checkout screens, TechCrunch notes.
Other big players are interested too, with Google offering Google Wallet on certain Android phones, and wireless carriers joining forces to create the Isis mobile wallet app, CNNMoney reports. Apple and Facebook are likely closer to announcing mobile-payment apps of their own. Some analysts say Amazon was slow to launch because merchants are uneasy about giving customer information to the company, but Amazon said it will only collect transaction amounts. The move comes just ahead of a June 18 event where Jeff Bezos is expected to announce Amazon's 3D smartphone. (Read more Amazon stories.)