reported Amazon.com executives have held talks with JPMorgan about a white-label checking account service.

L-R) Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and White House Director of Strategic Initiatives Chris Liddell share a laugh before a meeting of the White House’s American Technology Council in the State Dining Room of the White House June 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, the council’s goal is ‘to explore how to transform and modernize government information technology.’ (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If you’re an executive at a regional financial institution, it is time to pay attention.

This is not the first time analysts have wondered about Amazon’s banking ambitions. Financial services, or at least some customer-facing products, are a logical fit. The company has already taken control of many household purchasing habits. Getting the banking too would be a no-brainer.

In 2017, McKinsey & Co., a global consulting company, began telling financial services clients that they should worry about Amazon.com. The consultancy noted that the Seattle retailer already had a substantial bank-like operation and an army of Washington lobbyists.

In June 2017, Bloomberg reported Amazon.com extended $3 billion worth of bridge loans to 20,000 merchants operating on its e-commerce platform.

The merchant program at Amazon.com is among the least well-understood aspects of its business. Jeff Bezos, the chief executive officer, and founder has noted that more than 100,000 Amazon.com merchants have revenues in excess of $100,000. It is a cottage industry hiding in plain sight.

Bezos and his managers are fostering its growth with loans.

They are not alone. PayPal Holdings and Square Inc. have burgeoning small loan businesses, too. Like Amazon.com, they serve a part of the economy that has been largely neglected by regional bankers in an era of stifling regulation.

The jump to consumer financial services could be epic. It would give the biggest online retailer a direct link to its customers’ wallets.

The odds of consumers embracing such a service are very good.

In a 2017 survey of 133,000 banking customers in 22 countries, interest was high for financial products offered by non-traditional banks. In the U.S., a solid 55% of respondents were open to buying these products from established technology companies.

The key is service. From day one, Bezos forged a relationship with Amazon.com customers built on service. He even forced new executive managers to cut their teeth in call centers. Other companies pay lip service to customer-first policies. At Amazon.com, it is the real deal.

And it is hard to argue with the results.

Amazon.com is continually ranked atop customer satisfaction surveys. Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge estimates that 80 million people like shopping at the site so much, they are willing to pay an annual subscription for the right. This group cuts across social, geographic and political boundaries.

“>

Amazon is at it again. The online retail giant has another target in its sites. Let the worry, and disruption, begin.

In March, The Wall Street Journalreported Amazon.com executives have held talks with JPMorgan about a white-label checking account service.

L-R) Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and White House Director of Strategic Initiatives Chris Liddell share a laugh before a meeting of the White House’s American Technology Council in the State Dining Room of the White House June 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. According to the White House, the council’s goal is ‘to explore how to transform and modernize government information technology.’ (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If you’re an executive at a regional financial institution, it is time to pay attention.

This is not the first time analysts have wondered about Amazon’s banking ambitions. Financial services, or at least some customer-facing products, are a logical fit. The company has already taken control of many household purchasing habits. Getting the banking too would be a no-brainer.

In 2017, McKinsey & Co., a global consulting company, began telling financial services clients that they should worry about Amazon.com. The consultancy noted that the Seattle retailer already had a substantial bank-like operation and an army of Washington lobbyists.

In June 2017, Bloomberg reported Amazon.com extended $3 billion worth of bridge loans to 20,000 merchants operating on its e-commerce platform.

The merchant program at Amazon.com is among the least well-understood aspects of its business. Jeff Bezos, the chief executive officer, and founder has noted that more than 100,000 Amazon.com merchants have revenues in excess of $100,000. It is a cottage industry hiding in plain sight.

Bezos and his managers are fostering its growth with loans.

They are not alone. PayPal Holdings and Square Inc. have burgeoning small loan businesses, too. Like Amazon.com, they serve a part of the economy that has been largely neglected by regional bankers in an era of stifling regulation.

The jump to consumer financial services could be epic. It would give the biggest online retailer a direct link to its customers’ wallets.

The odds of consumers embracing such a service are very good.

In a 2017 survey of 133,000 banking customers in 22 countries, interest was high for financial products offered by non-traditional banks. In the U.S., a solid 55% of respondents were open to buying these products from established technology companies.

The key is service. From day one, Bezos forged a relationship with Amazon.com customers built on service. He even forced new executive managers to cut their teeth in call centers. Other companies pay lip service to customer-first policies. At Amazon.com, it is the real deal.

And it is hard to argue with the results.

Amazon.com is continually ranked atop customer satisfaction surveys. Cowen & Co. analyst John Blackledge estimates that 80 million people like shopping at the site so much, they are willing to pay an annual subscription for the right. This group cuts across social, geographic and political boundaries.

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