In our report on Google's Play Store vouchers in India, we'd raised some questions regarding whether Google needs a semi-closed prepaid wallet license in India, since it allows the purchase of products (apps) from third party vendors (app developers) using a stored value card (Gift card vouchers). It isn't a closed wallet, because you're not only buying Google products using the vouchers. This is exactly why Amazon India uses Qwikcilver for allowing purchase from products on its Amazon.in website, since it's a marketplace and not a retailer. India hasn't allowed Foreign Direct investment in eCommerce, so foreign entities cannot set up multi-brand retail stores in the country. Google informs us that the the gift cards (denominated Rs 500, Rs 1000 and Rs 1500), are issued by an offshore Google entity and only being distributed in India, which, to us, appears to be an interesting loophole in the RBI regulation, which therefore, it appears, allows companies to create gift cards abroad and distribute them in India, while Indian companies need to buy a license to do the same time. There's one thing though: how are these being issued as fixed value Rupee denominated cards, and not dollar denominated cards? Is the dollar value being adjusted in the background, in line with changes in the exchange rate? It's worth noting that one of Google's partners in this rollout, BK Modi's Spice Group, recently got a semi-closed prepaid wallet license from the Reserve Bank of India. Google also says that they will seek…
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