Amazon PayPhrase: Just Another Shopping Password To Forget?

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Internet impulse shopping got easier today with the introduction of Amazon PayPhrase, a combination of words and a PIN that can empty your wallet even faster than previously possible.

Here is how it works: Give Amazon a phrase and PIN to associate with your credit card and other account information. When you are ready to purchase, enter the phrase and PIN and your transaction is charged and shipped to your address. Simple as that, Amazon says. (See their demo here).

Users can create up to 20 phrase-and-PIN combinations, giving them a completely new realm of user name/password combinations to forget.

Amazon hopes it won't work that way, of course, and really hopes users will exercise their new PayPhrase on partner sites, including KNY, Jockey, Patagonia,, and J&R Electronics. If you do not already have an account with those merchants, PayPhrase works as though you did.

Shopping convenience is always nice. And just in time for the holidays, too. Still, users need to be concerned that if their PayPhrase is compromised the thieves will be able to do a great deal of damage, quickly.

Amazon will counter that having a PayPhrase means not having to have as many individual shopping accounts that might be hacked. The more partners Amazon recruits for PayPhrase, the more useful it will become.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

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