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Amazon eyes payments biz with Kindle checkout system -- report

The online giant wants to give small and midsize physical retailers a checkout system that uses its Kindle tablets, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Brick-and-mortar retailers may soon have a good reason to partner with Amazon. The online giant reportedly plans to offer physical retailers a checkout system that would use Kindle tablets to process payments.

The system could be ready as soon as this summer, according to a report Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required). The system, which would initially be offered to small and midsize retailers, could involve either a combination of Kindle and credit card readers, or other services such as data analysis and Web site development.

The move would both strengthen Amazon's relationship with physical retailers and broaden the availability of its Kindle tablet. And with its trove of credit card information for more than 230 million users, such a system could offer retailers a lot in return as well.

But Amazon would be entering an already crowded space, thanks to the likes of PayPal and Square. Apple, too, is said to be working on a mobile payments feature that could rival services like PayPal.

Amazon already started to tread into the competitive payments market last year with its purchase of payments business GoPago, which buoyed speculation that the online giant has plans to go head-to-head with PayPal and Square.

Still, nothing is yet set in stone. Amazon may delay its Kindle checkout plans or change course entirely, sources told the Journal.

We've reached out to Amazon for comment and will update this story when we learn more.