Following in the footsteps of Microsoft and Nintendo, Amazon has announced its own virtual currency for game, app and in-app purchases, called Amazon Coins, on the Kindle Fire HD.
The e-commerce giant is billing it as a way for developers to make more money by making it easier for shoppers to buy apps and games.
Android and iOS app developer Zak Tanjeloff agrees that Amazon Coins could put more cash in developer’s bank accounts. ”Any time you reduce the friction in buying an app or an in-app purchase, developers see better sales,” he says. It could also open the door for more in-app promos, where consumers can win coins and use them for future in-app purchases, which would help developers earn even more money, Tanjeloff says.
One Amazon Coin equals one U.S. penny, meaning a 99 cent game will cost 99 coins, a $1.99 app costs 199 coins, and so on. By converting coins to pennies instead of dollars, Amazon is giving developers the flexibility to sell in-app purchases for less than a dollar if they choose. It also means that mentally converting your Amazon Coin balance to real dollars won’t be too hard, a problem that’s plagued Microsoft Points and Nintendo Points.