Amazon is considered being a late entrant in the Indian digital payments space. However, the firm’s experiment with payments started just after demonetisation with Amazon Pay Balance (APB). APB was launched in December 2016. Nine months later, Amazon launched another payments product – Amazon Pay with a PPI licence in August 2017.
At the beginning of this year, it also integrated UPI as a payment option on Amazon Pay. The app has allowed peer to peer fund transfer using Unified Payments Interface railroad. Ever since then, the firm has been beefing up its payments play by onboarding online merchants and using QR codes for offline expansion.
Amazon Pay is reportedly working with its investee firm ToneTag to integrate the latter’s sound wave technology for enabling quick offline payments. Besides pure-play payments, the firm is also preparing for a holistic fintech play, starting with insurance.
The payment arm of the firm is set to aggregate third-party insurance products.
According to three Entrackr sources, Amazon Pay has been working on offering insurance for the past few months. “Amazon Pay received requisite approval to aggregate third-party insurance products. It also has carved out a small team consisting of 6-8 employees to look after the sub-vertical,” said sources including a company insider on condition of anonymity.
Entrackr has independently confirmed that Amazon Pay got a corporate agency (composite) licence from the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA). Composite licence holders include several commercial banks and companies like Paytm Money, PolicyBazaar, LendingKart. They are allowed to aggregate and promote insurance products.
Sources emphasise that Amazon Pay will enable insurance buying by December-January. Apart from selling third-party insurance products, it will push products of Acko insurance where Amazon is an investor. “Given its 150 million registered user base in India, aggregating and cross-selling insurance seem to be an obvious as well as a sensible move for Amazon Pay,” added sources.
Entrackr queries sent to Amazon India didn’t elicit any response until the publication of the post. We will update the post as and when the company responds.
Over the past three years, Amazon infused about Rs 2,900 crore into its payments unit. In the ongoing year, Amazon Pay had received close to Rs 600 crore from the parent entity.
During these three years, the e-commerce giant also placed several bets in overall fintech space. Amazon holds stakes in ToneTag, Capital Float, Acko, BankBazaar, Emvantage and Qwickcilver.
With the aggregation of third-party insurance products, it will compete more holistically against rivals in fintech space – Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm. Amazon has established itself as one of the top two e-commerce firms, along with Flipkart. However, it requires a robust fintech ecosystem to support its e-commerce ecosystem. Will it be able to do so?