Paymentus, the payments company, has announced a new partnership with Amazon Pay, which will see the giant join its growing payment network alongside PayPal.
The new partnership will enable American customers to ask Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled smart assistant that is built into everything from smart speakers to high-tech toilets, about their bills. It will also mean that people will be able to pay their bills through Alexa in the future.
Paymentus and Amazon Pay made the announcement at the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas this Sunday.
“We want to remove that friction [around bill queries] and enable the interaction in the moment,” Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Pay, told Bank Innovation. “You might think of Paymentus the the back end for the utility, and we are connecting Paymentus to Alexa and Amazon Pay.”
PayPal is already a member of the network.
For Amazon, the news comes as it is facing pressure from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in the US.
President Donald Trump is famously not at big fan of Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos. Trump allegedly told former defense secretary James Mattis to “screw Amazon” out of the $10bn Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, deal, according to CNBC, which had reviewed an upcoming book about Mattis tenure.
On Friday, it was revealed that the deal to update the Pentagon with cloud services and to empower it to do more with things like artificial intelligence processing and machine learning had been awarded to Microsoft and not Amazon.
Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has made breaking up the powers of big tech a key part of her bid for the Oval Office. As such, Amazon is one of the firms in her cross-hairs.
Last week she made another move in her battle against the behemoth businesses by accusing Amazon Web Services (AWS) of having failed to provide its customers with enough cybersecurity protection.
This assumed shortcoming, she argued, played a key part in the huge Capital One hack earlier this year that compromised over 100 million of the bank’s customers data.
AWS has denied any wrongdoing and called Warren’s accusations “baseless and a publicity attempt from opportunistic politicians.”
Paymentus has been supported by investors Accel-KKR in the past.
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