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(Pocket-lint) - Amazon has launched a new loyalty scheme that encourages people to buy apps from its own app store.

Dubbed Amazon Coins, the new "currency" - which in reality looks to be just like any other loyalty scheme like Tesco Clubcard or Nectar - will allow users to spend their hard earned points, we mean Coins, on apps, games and in-app purchases on the Kindle Fire range of tablets. 

Available from May in the US, the new Amazon Coins currency "is an easy way for Kindle Fire customers to spend money on developers’ apps in the Amazon Appstore, offering app and game developers another substantial opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increase monetization even further," says Amazon trying to big up the announcement.


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According to the online retailer, one Amazon Coin is worth one cent, so if an app costs $2.99 it will cost 299 Amazon Coins.

Developers should still benefit because Amazon says it will continue to give them 70 per cent of the app price even if customers pay in Coins rather than real cash.  

Initially launching in the US (no word on a UK launch), Amazon says it will give customers tens of millions of dollars’ worth of free Amazon Coins to spend on developers’ apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore to encourage the new system to take off.

Amazon hasn't yet said how many free coins customers will get, but we suspect Amazon Coins will be used to push sales of certain products in the same way the Tesco and Nectar loyalty schemes already do in stores around the UK. 

Amazon double Coins Tuesday here we come.

Writing by Stuart Miles.
Sections Amazon Apps