Distributors beware: Amazon’s latest method to disrupt the business supply market is apparently in the form of a credit card.
Bloomberg — citing anonymous sources with knowledge of the matter — reported Tuesday that Amazon has been in talks with banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. on a co-branded credit card for small business owners who shop on the e-tailer giant’s website.
The card will reportedly feature reward points for purchases and enable eventual additional offerings like business insurance through a portal. Amazon would be able to tailor rewards based on customer transaction data.
“In October, the company launched a Prime membership program offering fast free delivery for businesses, which was seen as a way to grab market share from factory-equipment providers such as WW Grainger Inc. and Fastenal Co. and office-supply stores like Staples Inc. and Office Depot Inc.,” Bloomberg said Tuesday.
Bloomberg noted that in 2017, Amazon lent $3 billion across more than 20,000 small businesses in the U.S., U.K, and Japan.
Such an offering would be Amazon’s latest aimed at finding the same success in the business supply realm that it’s had for household shopping. Amazon currently offers everyday consumers two credit cards with JPMorgan and Synchrony Financial, and they include reward offers up to 5 percent cash back on purchases.
The Chicago Tribune reports that American Express claims to be the top card issuer for U.S. small businesses, with a portfolio larger than its five nearest competitors combined. The Tribune cited a June 2017 Nilson Report that showed in 2016, small businesses spent about $72.9 billion on JPMorgan credit cards; $46.7 billion with Capital One; and $15.6 billion with Citigroup.
Tuesday’s report comes just over a week after reports surfaced that Amazon is looking to enter the banking industry by offering an Amazon checking account, for which it is in talks with JPMorgan and Capital One. The product would target Millennial customers.
Amazon hasn’t provided a facts and figures update about Amazon Business since July 2017, when it stated it had surpassed 1 million Amazon Business customers since its launch in April 2016. The latest news out of the unit was its early February announcement that it had launched in France — marking the sixth country Amazon Business is now available in.