Retailer and tablet maker Amazon has launched its digital currency, Amazon Coins, in the UK. The coins can be spent on Amazon.co.uk and within the company’s range of tablet devices, with the aim being to encourage sales within the retailer’s digital ecosystem.
Each coin is worth 1p and to celebrate the launch Amazon have given away 400 coins (worth £4) to every UK Kindle Fire owner. The main advantage to using the coins rather than GBP is that you receive discounts for buying the currency in bulk. 10,000 coins worth £100 can be purchased for £90 on the site.
The introduction of coins might also be beneficial for parents who regularly hand over their tablets to young children. There have been many stories of adults stung by credit card bills revealing that their offspring have racked up hundreds of pounds of purchases within apps. Using coins instead of currency would help limit the amount of money younger users have access to.
Amazon launched the service in the US six months ago and have said that the digital currency has helped app developers by encouraging customers to pay more. Traditional payment methods are still available as well.
The company recently launched its new high-end HDX tablets in the UK, with the 7-inch devices priced from £199 and designed to compete with similar high end devices such as the Nexus 7 and iPad mini.
The tablets run Amazon’s Fire OS, an operating system based on Google’s Android system but with an app store curated by the internet retailer. Amazon devices sell cheaply for the specs that they offer, but the company uses them to drive sales of their digital content.
The company has also been making inroads into the video on demand market this year, joining competitors Netflix and Hulu by commissioning its own original shows.