Amazon’s Flexible Payments Service (FPS) transfers money between individuals or companies that have Amazon Payments accounts. Money can be paid from an Amazon Payments balance, a credit card, or a bank account and is deposited into the receiver’s Amazon Payments account less any transaction fee. The service allows web application developers to build their own system for receiving payments from customers or to create marketplace applications that mediate transactions between third parties.
The payments permitted by FPS are highly configurable and allow a wide range of uses, from simple individual transactions, to subscriptions and aggregated micropayments. Most importantly, FPS allows developers to delegate their transactions to Amazon, a provider already familiar to, and trusted by, many customers.
FPS is easily the most complex of the services we will discuss in this book, with many more API operations and background concepts than the other services. If your payment processing requirements are relatively simple, such as if you just sell products from a web site, you can take advantage of the widgets discussed in the section Pay Now Widgets” to enable FPS payments without implementing the full service API. If your requirements are more complex, the comprehensive API will most likely be powerful and flexible enough to do what you need. To make our FPS overview more approachable, we have split the topic into three chapters: