Amazon is considering offering customers a current account product, according to reports which will send a shiver down the spine of the banking industry.
However, the move would not mean Amazon itself becoming a bank, but rather a white label arrangement with the US’s biggest lender.
Talks have also taken place with US credit card lender Capital One, the Wall Street Journal said.
Becoming a bank would allow Amazon to lend out money as well as taking in deposits, but would also expose the massive firm to a far bigger regulatory requirement in a far more sensitive industry than consumer retail.
Amazon already has a small business lending arm, but a move for retail bank accounts would mark a new front in its expansion efforts. Consultants McKinsey last year described Amazon and other digital platform companies as a bigger threat to banks than fintech firms.
Digital giants such as Amazon – along with Apple, Google, Alibaba and Tencent – have long been viewed as potential threats to the traditional banking industry, with large technology budgets and an even larger pool of regular customers who would be more likely to buy into their brands.
The reports say Amazon would target younger people and those who do not yet have access to a bank account.