Amazon applies for wallet license in India
(March 15 2016 – India) US based e-commerce giant, Amazon has applied for a semiclosed wallet licence with the India’s central bank, sources say.
A Reserve Bank of India (RBI) committee is expected to review new applications in April. Should the application be successful, Amazon may look to open up the wallet for thirdparty platforms as well.
A semiclosed wallet allows holders to purchase products from merchants which have a specific arrangement with the payments company. Conversely, a closed wallet can only be used an individual merchant.
An Amazon India spokesperson told reporters: "A trusted, easy, convenient and frictionfree 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."
The sources said Amazon plans to launch the digital wallet by mid2016, pending a decision from the RBI. There have been media reports of Amazon looking to acquire payments companies to rev up this business.
Former Citibank executive, Sriraman Jagannathan, who joined Amazon India at the start of this year to lead the company’s payments business, is expected to drive the digital wallet vertical reports have said.
Other online retailers already offer their own payment wallets. Amazon’s main competitor in India, Flipkart recently launched Flipkart Money, while Alibababacked Paytm has offered its own wallet for some time.