Amazon talks to banks over checking account

Are You Ready for an Amazon-Branded Checking Account?

Earlier this year, it was announced that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan were teaming up to reduce health care costs for their employees.

Becoming a bank would allow Amazon to lend out money as well as taking in deposits, but would also expose the massive firm to a far bigger regulatory requirement in a far more sensitive industry than consumer retail.

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The benefits of such an account for Amazon's current customers are unclear at the moment but product discounts, faster payment processing and the potential elimination of standard checking account maintenance fees all seem like distinct possibilities.

The process is still in its early stages and may not be completed, the report said. Rather, Amazon is considering partnering up with the likes of JPMorgan and Capital One to create a "hybrid-type" checking account for customers. "Apple has a relationship with a number of banks, using their payment systems, but clearly, Apple is not in the banking business". JPMorgan has also issued Amazon-branded credit cards since 2002. Keith Noreika, the former acting Comptroller of the Currency, said a year ago that it's time to reconsider whether the traditional separation between lending and retailing should be maintained. The e-commerce giant has been looking for ways to expand Amazon Pay to brick-and-mortar stores, likely via Whole Foods. A representative for JPMorgan declined to comment.

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