Amazon web site Inc. said more than 33 million shoppers elected to use its in-house payment platform last year, close to double the number of shoppers that used the method in 2015.

Amazon Payments expanded into a number of countries in 2016 as well, including France, Italy and Spain and the online retailer’s global partner program also launched in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan, all of which drove growth of the platform.

The company also rolled out “in-store experiences” using Amazon Payments with Moda Operandi and Amazon Books, which has physical stores in Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

“As we have introduced new experiences with merchants, we have seen a significant increase in the number of customers using the information from their Amazon account to make purchases on merchant web sites,” said Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Payments.

The number of merchants utilizing the payment method grew by more than 120 percent in 2016 and Amazon said about half of the 33 million Amazon Payment users over the year were already members of the company’s Prime subscription service.

“Amazon Payments connects merchants with customers that are accustomed to making purchases online,” Gauthier said. “By connecting with these customers, merchants are driving higher conversion, increasing sales and ultimately growing their business.”

Amazon noted that 32 percent of the Amazon Payment sales were made on a mobile device and the average transaction value was $80, with the single biggest transaction being $40,000.

The increasing popularity of Amazon’s payment system comes on the heels of the company seeing fourth-quarter sales up by 22 percent to $43.7 billion from $35.7 billion a year earlier. Amazon’s sales for 2016 as a whole rose 27 percent to $136 billion from $107 billion in 2015.

Although sales over the holiday were lighter than expected, causing Amazon’s stock to dip, the company nevertheless grabbed 43 percent of all revenue generated in the U.S. from online retail sales last year.

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