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The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is getting into the banking business, after a fashion, by entering "into a partnership with San Francisco lender Wells Fargo & Co. in which the bank’s student-lending arm will offer interest-rate discounts to select Amazon shoppers."

According to the story, "Members of the company’s 'Prime Student' service are receiving a student-loan offer by a lender through its site ... The discount will be offered both to students who want loans to attend college and those who want to refinance existing loans. The offer also represents the latest effort among private student lenders to stand out by discounting in an increasingly competitive market. Many offer discounts to customers who set up recurring payments to pay back their loans automatically or for loan refinancings by graduates who are members of professional associations."
KC's View:
This is the second time that Amazon has gotten into college financing - the other being its Career Choice program, which offers tuition reimbursement for hourly employees throughout the company - regardless of whether the courses or degree have anything to do with the person's Amazon employment. This program reimburses up to 95 percent, or $12,000 - and a recent Business Insider story said that "more than 7,000 hourly employees in 10 countries have taken part in the program, with more than 1,300 employees taking a college-level or vocational course at classrooms that Amazon has located in its warehouses."

The programs aren't the same, but I do they think they tap into a core consumer concern about the cost of education. All of which only means that Amazon is good at recognizing the zeitgeist.