Alexa Developers Can Now Include In-Skill Purchases

Alexa Developers Can Now Include In-Skill Purchases

The company on Thursday said it's made two tools widely available for developers in the USA: in-skill purchasing and Amazon Pay for skills.

Prior to these tools becoming available in the USA, many independent Alexa developers could only make money from a program Amazon runs that pays the creators of the most popular skills. Just ask "Alexa, open Fridays" to start the process, and with Amazon Pay customers can complete their orders quickly and easily, as their payment information is already stored in the Amazon account. Now, third-party merchants can do the same. There are now 40,000 Alexa skills, up from 25,000 in September. However, it also supports services and other things, such as event tickets and transportation. "We are incredibly excited to collaborate with Amazon Alexa and work together on this first skill and we look forward to creating many unique stories in the future". Alexa users grant your skill permission to use Amazon Pay as their default payment, which uses their payment details already pre-configured in their Amazon account. There's no need to sign in each time a purchase is made on the speaker, though you can set up a secure PIN to prevent unauthorized use. Last week it launched an Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition for its USA userbase, filled with child-safe skills, and now it's rolling out similar skills for all UK Echo devices.

As for in-skill purchases, that's also being expanded to general availability today. Both one-time unlocks of premium extras, and ongoing subscriptions for them, are supported.

Amazon said developers will be able to use customers' payment information from Amazon, so users can pay seamlessly via voice with Amazon Pay. As of today, SyFy Wire is adding subscription-based access to exclusive weekly podcasts, and the game Yes Sire is adding an expansion pack. To start the skill, just say, "Alexa, start Lego Duplo Stories".

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