Amazon has launched a new marketplace for micro-lending, allowing businesses to sell directly to customers.
The new platform, called Amazon Micro-Lending, allows small businesses to take on lending or buy goods on Amazon through a partnership with Amazon Prime members, giving them direct access to customers’ orders.
The site also allows Amazon sellers to sell products on Amazon directly to Amazon customers, giving the company direct access, or at least direct visibility, to the inventory.
This means Amazon can more effectively target the customers of its most profitable sellers, and it opens up a new space for micro businesses, particularly those that need a little more control.
Micro-lenders can be grouped into three categories: business, product, and service, which can have different features, and they can sell items for up to $15 per item per day.
Amazon has added a micro-fee to micro-loans, which will automatically roll into any future loans.
Amazon has said the platform is meant to be an “enabler” for existing micro-credit programs, which it says have been too “frequently abused”.
However, micro-products and services are currently the most popular type of lending available, and Amazon has said micro-selling is ideal for “those who need a small bit of flexibility”.
It has not set a specific minimum threshold for microbusinesses, but has said it will accept all micro-services as long as they adhere to the terms of its “Fair Trade Guarantee”.
Micro-credit has long been used as a way to help people buy a car, for example, or pay for a trip.
Amazon is now also offering a microcredit product called “Amazon Prime Deals”, which allows users to buy products from Amazon using a credit card, and then pay with Amazon credit, which is accepted by Amazon’s Prime membership.
Amazon’s move comes at a time when the retail giant is looking to boost its growth in Asia and the US.
The company’s first store in Japan, in Tokyo, opened in March, and in April it opened a store in New York.
Amazon is also expanding its retail footprint in China.
In June it opened an outlet in Hangzhou, in Jiangsu province, where the company has more than 20,000 stores.
The company is expected to have nearly 10,000 Amazon Prime stores worldwide by the end of 2020.