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Amazon (AMZN) Gains As Company Eyes Bank Deals, Checking Accounts

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Shares of Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) surged more than 1.2% in late-morning trading Monday after new reports linked the company to the financial industry, suggesting that the e-commerce behemoth’s plans to launch new account services might include a major partnership.

Amazon has been in talks with JPMorgan Chase (JPM - Free Report) and Capital One (COF - Free Report) about its proposal to launch a product similar to traditional checking accounts, The Wall Street Journal said Monday. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report indicated that Amazon’s target is younger consumers and people without existing bank accounts.

A dive into the financial sector would be another addition to Amazon’s growing list of attempts to influence its customers’ everyday lives. The move would also help the company avoid some of the fees it currently pays financial firms and learn more about people’s income and spending trends.

But in talking to JPMorgan and Capital One, Amazon has shown that it does not intend to entirely disrupt the existing structure of the financial business.

“Why put up all the capital that’s required to run a bank and why pick up all the extra expense and headache of running a bank when you can go to a Chase and any number of smaller banks and have them license their bank?,” Ali Raza, managing principal at the payments consultancy Blue Leviathan, said to Bloomberg.

Amazon already has a few services that might help illustrate its financial vision. For one, the company offers Amazon Cash, a platform that lets users add cash to an Amazon wallet by displaying a barcode in person. This enables customers without a credit card to shop online.

Amazon also recently launched Prime Reload, which rewards users with a 2% bonus is they use their debit card to transfer money from a bank account to an Amazon balance. By handling the transaction themselves, Amazon can avoid paying fees to Visa (V - Free Report) and Mastercard (MA - Free Report) .

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