Amazon has announced a new program that will allow customers to login with their Amazon accounts to make purchases on third-party websites. “Login and Pay with Amazon”, which was revealed at Money2020, uses the OAuth 2.0 protocol and will work across tablet, mobile and desktop.

With more than 215 million customer accounts, Amazon boasts a sizable user base that should appeal to merchants. The company expects to launch its first login and pay partnerships later this year.

Merchants will pay a per transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30 for Amazon Payments, with no extra fees for monthly  use, setup, cancellation, refunds and fraud protection. Your credit card details won’t have to change hands, and Amazon will offer the same A-to-z purchase guarantee that is in effect on its own site.

With this move, Amazon reveals the massive scope of its ambition. Its efforts to leverage its e-commerce prowess to become an Internet-wide payment platform represent a direct challenge to PayPal, which already has wide adoption. PayPal had 132 million registered accounts and processed $43 billion in payments last quarter, so it’s got plenty to lose in this fight.

Amazon’s payments arm has been around since 2009 and has powered Kickstarter for some time now. The new bundled login and pay solution allows customers to login up front so that sellers can recognize them on future sessions. Amazon also says that using its login will help merchants provide additional services like managing and tracking orders, discounts, and immediate access to address and payment information.

As a frequent Amazon customer, this is great news for me. Amazon’s checkout process is fast, secure and painless, so I would be happy to use it on third-party sites. Here’s hoping Amazon also brings Prime’s two-day shipping to other merchants.

Image Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images