Amazon's Digital Wallet Play In India Closer To Reality

Amazon's payments side might soon get a little bigger — at least for its India business.

A report from The Times of India, citing sources said to be close to the matter, indicates that Amazon's India unit has filed an application for a semi-closed digital wallet license with the Royal Bank of India. The application for the license is anticipated to be reviewed next month.

The sources also said that Amazon's plans involve opening up its digital wallet for third-party platforms — hence the reason for the semi-closed wallet. That option enables users to buy products and services for merchants that have deals with that specific payments company.

While Amazon did not specifically comment on the details of what the sources reported, it did provide the following statement that offers a bit of a hint that there's a demand for a digital wallet option in India.

"A trusted, easy, convenient and friction-free payment experience has always been one of Amazon's key pillars, globally and in India. We are driven by customer demands and seek every opportunity to do what it takes so that our customers benefit. We cannot comment specifically on what we may or may not do," an Amazon spokesman said in an email to The Times of India.

It also wouldn't be out of the ordinary for Amazon to want a piece of the digital payments pie in India, a region that's increasingly gaining attention in the online and mobile commerce sector as more and more consumers turn to their devices for more tasks. The region already has Flipkart with its own Flipkart Money digital wallet, the Alibaba-backed Paytm wallet and Snapdeal's Freecharge. And that's just a few of the biggest players that have gained traction.

Just last month, Amazon announced its plans to acquire online payment service provider EMVANTAGE Payments, an Indian payments service provider, for an undisclosed amount.

What this acquisition gives Amazon is a greater presence in one of its emerging international markets, while giving it the chance to build up its payments solutions for customers in India who are looking to buy online. And, as shown in the U.S. market, Amazon has a great ability to gain consumer trust using its payment methods (such as Amazon 1-Click).



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.