Amazon could become the third-biggest US bank if it wants to


Amazon could rival the nation’s big banks in as few as five years, capitalizing off its digital prowess and massive consumer base, according to a Bain & Company report.

“We could imagine Amazon’s banking services growing to more than 70 million U.S. consumer relationships over the next five years or so — the same as Wells Fargo, the third-largest bank in the US.,” wrote Bain’s Gerard du Toit and Aaron Cheris. “Although many retail bankers and observers have pegged the nimble fintech start-ups as the likely disrupters, it has become clear that established technology firms pose a bigger threat.”

Pushing customers toward a co-branded banking account also allows Amazon to cut down on transaction costs, Bain said.

Amazon could – according to Bain calculations – avoid more than $250,000,000 in credit card interchange fees every year if finds a bank willing to partner on checking accounts.

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