Amazon’s Coins operate somewhat like a prepaid credit card or a gift card; if a customer buys $1 worth of coins, they’ll get back 100 coins, which they can use to buy apps and make in-app purchases via Amazon’s Android Appstore and the Kindle Fire app store. To incentivize users to buy coins, Amazon offers up to 10% off apps and games — but says it still pays developers their “standard 70% revenue share.”
Although some analysts believed Amazon’s virtual currency would simply complicate the payment process for customers, this expansion suggests that Amazon’s Coins have found some success in the U.S. — or perhaps the company is simply giving the program another try in a couple of new markets.
The launch is just one small push for Amazon, which is currently fighting on all fronts to advance its ecommerce footprint; the company’s latest initiatives include tackling offline payments and building a Google Adwords competitor powered by vast quantities of shopping data.
Amazon Coins are now available in Japan, Australia, U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain.