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Amazon Pay enters India’s P2P payments market

Amazon is stepping up its investment in India, with the launch of person-to-person (P2P) payments via Amazon Pay for the country’s Android users.

The online giant is a late entrant into the Indian P2P market, where it will face competition from current leader Google Pay and also Paytm and PhonePe.

“Our goal is to make Amazon Pay the most trusted, convenient and rewarding way to pay for our customers,” said Vikas Bansal, director of Amazon Pay.

“The customers trust their Amazon app and we continue to expand payment use cases directly on the app. With this launch, we have the largest selection of shopping and payment use cases on the Amazon Android app which provides added convenience and control to our customers.”

How the service works

Amazon Pay’s service enables customers to make instant bank-to-bank transactions through the Indian government-backed UPI platform on the localised version of the Amazon app, allowing them to pay for services and settle bills The new P2P service also will allow customers to make payments from their bank account to local stores or to Amazon delivery associates, who will scan a UPI QR code within the Amazon app.

The UPI platform on which the service is built is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and designed for instant transfer of funds between bank accounts using a mobile device. With the Amazon Pay service, customers can either send or receive P2P payments by choosing a contact from their phone’s address book or by entering their UPI ID or the recipient’s bank account.

When a contact is selected, Amazon’s app will automatically detect if the person is a registered Amazon Pay UPI customer and enable the bank transfer. If the contact is not registered for Amazon Pay UPI, the customer then has the option to pay through another BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) UPI ID or the contact’s bank account, as an displaying their recent transactions. All the payments are secured through multi-factor authentication involving the customer’s phone number, SIM details and the UPI PIN, says Amazon.

Amazon Pay also allows customers to make repeat payments more easily by displaying their recent transactions. All payments are secured through multi-factor authentication involving the customer’s phone number, SIM details and the UPI PIN, says Amazon. When the money is transferred, both customer and the recipient are notified through in-app notifications and SMS alerts.

Retail opportunity

The launch comes as Amazon steps up competition with local conglomerate Reliance Industries. Recently, Amazon launched a program to manage the business-to-business (B2B) inventory supply and management neighbourhood stores.

The programme, which allows retailers and store owners to order online and have products delivered the next day, will be rolled out across India if the pilot succeeds.

There are around 12 million Kirana stores in India, which still account for 90% of the country’s retail business in the country, but only 3% are tech-enabled. That represents a big opportunity for Amazon, as the stores begin to take up technology to better compete with online grocers.

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