Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, is to offer a “pay monthly” option to customers buying products from its website in the latest ratcheting up of the pressure on its bricks-and-mortar high street rivals.
The Amazon Pay Monthly programme will be available on orders above £400 in value, which can include multiple items. City retail analysts said yesterday that, with what is in effect a customer loan service, the online giant could secure a serious competitive advantage to go with its already lower costs than many rivals with extensive store chains.
“I hesitate to use the word game-changer, but it is certainly a development that many traditional retailers will view with apprehension,” one analyst said. “It could also force other online retailers into similar offers.”
The loans from the US major will be run in conjunction with Hitachi Capital, and will be for up to four years. Amazon Pay Monthly will charge an interest rate of 16.9 per cent, but no deposit will be required.