Amazon Sets its Sights on Office Supplies Industry with New Credit Card

Amazon.com Inc. is now looking to dominate the office supplies industry by offering a new credit card to small business customers. The move would further push the company’s agenda of supplying businesses with everything from factory parts to printing paper.

The online retail giant has been in talks with banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., to offer a co-branded credit card for small businesses that shop on its website.

The world’s largest online marketplace is looking to replicate its success in consumer retail in the B2B world. The company launched a special Prime membership program in October that offers fast and free delivery to businesses. The goal of the program, many believe, is to take market share away from companies that provide office supplies in Toronto and other parts of the world, including major chains, like Office Depot Inc. and Staples Inc.

The new credit card is believed to offer rewards points for purchases, with potential plans to offer business insurance through a special portal designed for small business customers.

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Technology that the rewards may be tailored based on customer transaction data.

Neither Amazon nor JPMorgan have commented on the matter.

Amazon has already lent more than $3 billion to over 20,000 small businesses that sell products on the marketplace in the U.K., U.S. and Japan.

Amazon currently offers two credit cards to consumers through Synchrony Financial and JPMorgan. These credit cards can offer as much as 5% cash back on purchases made on the Amazon website. The company is also in talks with Capital One and JPMorgan about a product similar to a checking account that would help the retailer reduce its credit card fees each year.

Amazon is reportedly in talks with JPMorgan Chase to offer a hybrid-type checking account. The offering would apparently target younger customers and people without bank accounts.

The move would not only reduce fees for Amazon, but also give the company insight into consumer spending habits and income levels.

Amazon has already made its move into the financial tech industry with its Amazon Cash product. Amazon Cash allows consumers to add cash to a digital wallet and purchase items online. The product is similar to PayPal.

The hybrid-checking account product is still just a rumor at this point and is still in the early discussion process.

A checking account product and business-related credit card seem like obvious next steps for Amazon, a company that is constantly attempting to inject itself into new areas of the shopping experience. A checking account would give Amazon more insight into its consumers’ cashflow and how they are budgeting for purchases. The move may just allow the retail giant to own every aspect of the online shopping experience, from finding deals tailor-made to your budget and needs to delivering the products to your doorstep.

Along with all of these potential developments, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that his company will join other leaders in the business world to offer independent healthcare services to its employees.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.