Dive Brief:

  • More than half of 1,000 U.S. Amazon customers recently surveyed said they would be willing to use an Amazon-created virtual currency for purchases, according to a survey conducted by student loan marketplace LendEDU.
  • Among other findings, the survey (which questioned consumers, including some Amazon Prime members, that made purchases on Amazon within the previous 30 days) found that 44.5% said they would also keep their primary bank account with Amazon if the e-commerce giant offered such a service.
  • Furthermore, about half of respondents said they would seek personal loans from Amazon if they were available, and roughly 45% said they would use an auto loan offering from the company. Another 30% claimed they would be ready to take out an Amazon-created mortgage.

Dive Insight:

Amazon has flirted with the virtual currency movement in the past, offering Amazon coins for use in games and in-app purchases. It also showed more interest in cryptocurrency recently when it reportedly registered three web domain names relevant to blockchain and cryptocurrency.

Amazon doesn’t offer personal banking, mortgage and insurance services yet, but there is reason to believe it could soon offer all of the above. Within the last several months, McKinsey & Co. and other banking sector sources have suggested Amazon could enter the space soon with market disruption on its mind.

The questions LendEDU asked ran the gamut from personal banking to pharmacy services to healthcare plans, each being an area that Amazon either has expressed interest in or has rumored to be interested in.

Here is a breakdown of other notable survey results:

  • 55.2% of respondents said they would use an Amazon-created credit monitoring service.
  • 36% would use a retirement investment account created by Amazon
  • 54.7% would trust Amazon to provide them with over-the-counter and prescription medicine
  • 44.5% would use an Amazon-created auto-insurance plan, while 37.5% would use an Amazon life insurance plan and 35.8% would use an Amazon health insurance plan

Most recently, Amazon aligned with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway on a healthcare partnership whose potential impact on the broader healthcare sector remains unclear, but also worth watching.

Amazon’s wide and growing array of potential business pursuits is exactly what inspired LendEDU to conduct a survey sizing up consumer willingness to go along with these evolutions.

For as much interest as LendEDU found for these services among recent Amazon customers in general, the level of interest was even a bit higher among Prime members. While 51.7% of survey respondents said they would use virtual currency from Amazon, 58.2% of Prime members answered in the affirmative.

It’s also important to note the number of survey respondents with each question who answered “no” or “unsure” to each of these propositions. For instance, 21.9% of respondents said they would not be interested in using an Amazon-created alternative currency for purchases, while 26.4% said they were unsure. With nearly every question asked, the percentage who answered “unsure” was larger than the percentage that answered no. A lot of those “unsure” answers could become “yes” with the right approach by Amazon, but it’s also possible that faced with the reality of Amazon offering these services, more of the “unsure” crowd could turn to “no.”

Ultimately, one question in the survey could provide more fuel for Amazon’s aspirations to proceed than any other — if it were to take these survey results to heart. When asked, “Would you have more trust in Amazon handling your finances instead of a traditional bank?,” 38.3% said they would have the same level of trust in Amazon as they do in a bank, and 17.2% said they would have more trust in Amazon than in a bank. If that many people believe Amazon can do as good of a job or better, than the banking industry may be in trouble.


Source:  Retail DIVE, February 2018