Amazon Wants to Suck Your Blood (and Drain Your Bank Account)
Rolling Stone journalist and Griftopia author Matt Taibbi famously called Goldman Sachs a “great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”
But what if this generation’s biggest blood-sucker isn’t Wall Street’s evil banks, but the world’s most prolific e-commerce company?
Look no further than everyone’s favorite next-day delivery leader: Amazon-dot-com. Jeff Bezos & Co. are helping Amazon grow new tentacles every month to morph the $730 billion beast into one of the biggest companies on earth. Prime delivers your most important stuff straight to your door. Prime Video streams your entertainment. Amazon’s new Whole Foods acquisition is ready to handle all your organic food needs.
Now, Amazon wants your bank account. The king of e-commerce is reportedly in preliminary talks with JPMorgan and other major banks about rolling out its own checking account.
Why the push to get into banking?
Because if you want to control the world, you must control your customers from the beginning of their purchases right to the very end…
“If the product emerges, it would further inject Amazon into the lives of those who shop on its website and at its Whole Foods grocery stores, read on its Kindles, watch its streaming video and chat with Alexa, its digital assistant,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Offering a product that is similar to an own-branded bank account could help reduce fees Amazon pays to financial firms and provide it with valuable data on customers’ income and spending habits.”
An Amazon-branded checking account — linked directly to your Amazon.com purchases through Prime, Prime Video, and Amazon Fresh/Whole Foods — has the potential to control much of your everyday spending.
But we’re especially interested in how an Amazon checking account would pair with Alexa.
Amazon’s industry-leading voice assistant can recite the weather, tell you the day’s top headlines, and play your favorite music. She can even make all your crazy delivery dreams come true — no button-pushing required. Just whisper your demands within earshot of your Echo and she does your bidding.
Now imagine the power of Alexa’s voice commands combined with direct access to your checking account. It’s a match made in heaven for Amazon’s top line.
Voice emerging as the next tech battleground was one of our big 2018 market predictions. After all, the easiest operating system to use is one you can’t see. That’s why we’re seeing the emergence of “smart speakers” like the Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Amazon Echo. Microsoft is even rolling out its own smart speaker it developed with Harman Kardon that will use its Cortana language recognition software.
Amazon’s Alexa was leading the pack as of late last year. As of 2017, there were more than 7,000 Alexa skills, which Geek Wires explains as “third-party integrations that extend the capabilities of its voice platform.” Alexa developers are in this game to dominate voice. And as Alexa continues to “learn” new skills and integrate with additional products, she will be a force to reckon with in the tech world.
The Echo is more than a glorified wireless speaker that displays the weather. Amazon is developing a fully-integrated communications hub for your home. If Amazon gives Alexa direct access to an Amazon-branded bank account, it will become an even more powerful platform that Google and Microsoft won’t be able to catch.
Amazon shares are already dominating the competition this year. The stock completely ignored the market’s February pullback, correcting just a few points before ripping back to new all-time highs. Amazon is now up a mind-melting 30% year-to-date, compared to gains of about 10% for Microsoft and 4% for Google.
You’re approaching a clean double on our Amazon position. But this market leader isn’t ready to cool off just yet. If Amazon is determined to take over the world and bleed it dry, we want a piece of the action!