Amazon has followed in the footsteps of Microsoft and Nintendo that offer virtual currency in the form of points and Wii respectively. Amazon has now come up with a new coin concept where users can buy virtual coins worth a fixed amount of money and spend the coins on books, apps and other goodies in Amazon’s store. A user can buy any number of coins according to app usage and amount spent.
This is a smart move from Amazon that allows users to use fake currency instead of real cash. This cuts down the risk of users losing large sums of money if their bank accounts are hacked. Since there is no relationship between the virtual coins and a user’s credit card or bank, the individual loses only the coins if his or her Amazon account is hacked into. Since no sensitive financial data is revealed on the account, there is no security hazard with regard to credit card number or bank account. The coins also act as a safety net for parents whose kids spend large amounts on the app store and could compromise the safety of a bank account.
Amazon allows users to buy small amounts at a time, allowing users to spend wisely on the apps that they really need instead of splashing big amounts on apps that will be used infrequently. Critics worry however that the coins serve no real purpose and makes it extremely easy for children to buy apps, who otherwise would not have access to credit cards.
For now, 1 cent of U.S currency is equal to one point in Amazon currency. The merit of such a move will soon be revealed with users rushing to stock up on virtual coins to spend in the Amazon store.