Amazon India is making inroads into the payments market one step at a time with one of the most important steps being its wallet getting RBI approval through the PPI (Prepaid Payment Instrument) licence.
While the RBI is still finalising the guidelines for PPIs, the banking regulatory body is distributing approvals to wallet service providers to ensure that there are enough such providers in the market to promote healthy competition. According to Amazon the approval from RBI means a lot to them and their customers as they will not be able to offer cashbacks to consumers directly to their wallets.
Further, if things move in the right direction at Amazon, the wallet could potentially power payments for non-Amazon transactions, giving it a slice of the burgeoning digital payments market in India.
Sriram Jagannathan, VP Payments, Amazon India, is of the opinion that there are several advantages to using a digital wallet model, including easier KYC and authentication processes. He said that they are keen on continuing the low limit wallet dispensation with simplified KYC & authentication enabling and allowing its customers adopt digital payments at scale and thereby contribute towards making India a less-cash economy.
Amazon last year quietly rebranded its Gift Card balance as Amazon Pay touting it as the fastest way to pay. It was essentially the same as gift card balance though unlike wallets, there were no limits on how much anyone can transact in a day.
Jagannathan added that Amazon is looking forward to further cashless innovations from the Indian government. “We hope the government and RBI would continue to encourage multiple ways to shift consumers from cash behaviour by recognising the value of digital wallets, used especially for making small value payments to large merchants like ecom, government, IRCTC, utility or insurance companies,” he said.
Medianama reports that the licence was granted to Amazon Online Distribution Services Private Limited on March 22 this year, and is valid till March 31, 2022.