Amazon India has received the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) approval to launch its own digital wallet in India, paving the way for the American online retail giant to gain a slice of India’s fast-growing digital payments business.
Amazon India, which had applied for what is called a Prepaid Payment Instrument (PPI) licence nearly a year ago, will now look to take on established rivals such as Paytm and Freecharge as it prepares to launch a prepaid wallet service that will be broader in scope than its Pay Balance service and will not be restricted to Amazon-based transactions.
In December, Amazon had launched its Pay Balance service in order to boost cashless transactions. While Pay Balance works in a similar manner to other mobile wallet services, it was restricted to transactions on Amazon.
Amazon’s new wallet service will look to address a vital problem in the world of payments — like other wallet services such as Paytm, it will help customers bypass the two-step authentication process for online payments using credit or debit cards and makes the process smoother for online shoppers, thus plugging a key gap in the payments process that reduces the risk of loss of business from online shoppers.
Armed with Rs 9,000 crore from its biggest round of funding, Flipkart is setting sights on new businesses that will pit it against Alibaba, even as India’s largest e-tailer deepens investments in its core business to outflank Amazon in one of the world’s most hotly contested ecommerce markets.
Flipkart will use the capital from Tencent, eBay Inc and Microsoft to grow its payments arm PhonePe, expand its portfolio of private labels and relaunch key categories such as furniture and grocery.