RealTime IT News

Amazon.com Takes Stake in NextCard

Putting its weight in yet another e-commerce arena, Amazon.com Wednesday took a stake in Internet credit card issuer NextCard as part of a $150 million electronic commerce alliance.

Amazon (AMZN) will purchase up to 4.4 million shares of NextCard (NXCD), valued at $139.1 million using Tuesday's closing price.

NextCard will also create a co-branded card for Amazon.com, which is expected to become available early next year. The two companies expect that, over a five-year term, the card will generate $150 million in fees for Amazon.com.

Amazon.com founder and Chairman Jeff Bezos believes NextCard is positioned to capitalize on an emerging trend.

"We invest only in companies that share our passion for customers. The NextCard management team has proven its ability to deliver a customer-obsessed experience. From its customized product offers to its instant credit capabilities, NextCard leads the credit card industry as it shifts toward the Internet."

The credit card will target Amazon.com's 13 million customer base. Features of the card include an eight-second online approval, personalized designs, account alerts, electronic statements, and bill payment. The card will also include a rewards program and customized e-commerce services.

The ever-expanding Amazon.com Tuesday revamped its online sales strategy, introducing four new one-stop online stores focusing on home improvement, software, video games and gift ideas.