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Amazon Aims to Be India's Favorite in Content & Payment Services

Now Amazon has joined the biggies to gain a slice of India’s fast-growing digital payments business.

In the race to be no.1 in Indian E-commerce space between Flipkart and Amazon is getting tougher every day. Now a new twist in the story is that RBI had issues e-wallet licence to Amazon Online Distribution Services for 5 years starting from March 22.

Now Amazon has joined the biggies 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.

After demonetisation, digital wallet companies witnessed a sharp rise in wallet adoption & companies like paytm had seen a massive increase in user base.

Sriram Jagannathan, vice-president of payments at Amazon India said “We are pleased to receive our PPI licence from the RBI. Our focus is providing customers a convenient and trusted cashless payments experience. RBI is in the process of finalizing the guidelines for PPIs. We look forward to seeing a continuation of the low-limit wallet dispensation with simplified KYC (know-your-customer norms) and authentication. This will allow us to help customers adopt digital payments at scale and thereby contribute towards making India a less-cash economy,”

A wallet license could change things by allowing customers to deploy/top-up their wallet for future purchases, but it also gives Amazon an effective channel for cashback offers, faster refunds and other incentives.

Tim Leslie, vice president of Amazon Video, International, also announced a few months back the India launch of Amazon Prime Video, the e-commerce firm’s online streaming platform as well as its expansion in over 200 markets across the world. And he said, In India, there is a strong preference for local content, whether it’s Bollywood or regional content. Indian customers also love blockbuster movies and TV and enjoy our US originals as well. Citing the simple reason he said, that they strategize to have more Indian content than US content here.

There are reports that despite Netflix launching into India with much fanfare, they weren't able to capture the Indian share and have lost there battle to Indian homegrown players who fought back with a lot of local, and regional content. he battle for Indians’ eyes and screens is not just about streaming video. Netflix faced a lot pressure against off from Amazon Prime Video and India’s own Hotstar. From Amazon’s perspective, video is just a perk to lock in consumers, a fact that deeply shapes its strategy.

Only the time will tell on how Flipkart going to face the heat & competition it is getting from rival Amazon.

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