Amazon Flexible Payment Service (FPS)
To answer the questions, yes, we’re definitely going to be using FPS in a big way (millions of dollars per year) shortly. We aren’t, though, going to be using the part that all the press are talking about – the so-called ‘PayPal killer’. We don’t talk about un-released features at SmugMug, so I’m afraid I have to leave it at that – but feel free to speculate. 🙂
On a personal note, I’m really excited about FPS because, like many, I hate PayPal. When we were getting SmugMug off the ground, I was interested in using PayPal either as our main payment option, or at least as an alternative. Their developer support was terrible, though, and the ability to do big batches was apparently nonexistent. I even knew people over there, and they’d just shrug with a ‘what can you do?’ look on their faces when I’d ask them if we could use their stuff.
Definitely not Amazon’s approach. 🙂
UPDATE: Apparently I was too abstract in my initial post about how we’d be using it, so here’s a quick clarification. We’re not going to use FPS to enable you to signup for SmugMug service or buy prints & gifts using FPS. We have something else in mind. 🙂
Why not use FPS (or PayPal, for that matter) for signup & purchase, you might ask. Our answer is that we’re not totally comfortable passing customers along to a UI we don’t control and isn’t branded at such a crucial point in our monetization process. The establishment of brand, and even more specifically, trust in that brand, is extremely important to us. These are people’s priceless photos, afterall, and we want to be clear on who’s taking care of them. It’s entirely possible we’re shooting ourselves in the foot with this stance, but that’s our prerogative.