And so it begins. It is proven that we spend more when we use credit cards instead of cash and so Amazon is adopting a new currency to go into effect in May to better exploit this fact within the kindle store. Amazon coins will have the equivalence to one cent. Kindle apps that cost 99 cents will cost 99 coins. This easy conversion will be a joy for anyone that has tried to figure out how much money they are spending in the Microsoft or Nintendo stores. This business move seems to be more aimed at parents and children now that more kids are getting their hands on the kindle fires. Now the only way for parents to put a credit on their children’s account is to get an amazon gift card, load it, and then put it in the kindle app store (a surprisingly difficult process). But now they will just be able to use their credit cards to put coins in their child’s account.
This also takes advantage of the perception that they person is not spending “real” money. Just a few coins here or there to get a new game or an in game character boost doesn’t seem too painful with coins! Android and iOS app developer Zak Tanjeloff says, “Using virtual currency takes the user one level away from actual dollars, which can lure them to spend more. It’s like when you get chips at a casino, it’s easy to forget that you’re playing with real money.”
App developers get 70% of the purchase from the app store and so they are hoping that this virtual money route will boost the sales and their revenue. Amazon will give “tens of millions of dollars’ worth of free Amazon Coins to spend on developers’ apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore,” the company says once the virtual currency launches in May.