Update: An Amazon India spokesperson told MediaNama that they’re “watching UPI technology very closely. We are studying customer UX and tracking platform stability and success rates which will be critical in delivering a great payment experience through UPI. Currently, we are looking into the initial market feedback on UPI payment method. We are also studying UPI network stability, transaction failures rates and other customer experience issues.”
The spokesperson also added that they “have started engaging with several players in the UPI ecosystem to build our UPI plans and potential partnership opportunities. Before we enable UPI on Amazon, we are working towards building a product that provides a great customer experience.“
Earlier (October 27): Amazon India head, Amit Agarwal recently told Livemint that Amazon Pay will soon be integrated with National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) unified payments interface (UPI). However, he didn’t mention any specific dates. We’ve written to Amazon India asking if they can firstly confirm this development and secondly provide further details such as when this integration is expected to take place. We’ll update once we hear back from them.
Note that Amazon India’s primary competitor, Flipkart had started supporting UPI payments via its payments arm PhonePe, in January this year. Previously, Flipkart customers had to install the PhonePe app in order to pay for purchases on Flipkart using the UPI option. At the time, transactions were limited to Rs 1 lakh per day for each linked bank account within PhonePe. So, users can either make a single transaction of not more than Rs 1 lakh or multiple transactions adding up to Rs 1 lakh per day.
Shashi adds: However, Amazon will have to comply with RBI’s revised guidelines for wallets to have interoperability on the UPI. But Amazon Pay head Sriram Jagganathan had raised concerns on the increased KYC burden that the guidelines entail.
“One of our concerns is that even low usage wallets are required to do a KYC beyond 12 months: this adds friction to customers. We urge the regulator to re-examine this in line with international guidelines and adopt a framework of proportional KYC,” he said.
Amazon’s continued focus on Amazon Pay
Earlier this month, Amazon had infused an additional Rs 260 crore into its the digital wallet service Amazon Pay. Previously, it had invested Rs 130 crore into Amazon Pay in July this year, and had infused Rs 67 crore in May 2017. Recently, Amazon Pay also increased its share capital by five times from Rs 400 crore to Rs 2000 crore. The authorised share capital is the number of stock units that a company can issue and is often not fully utilised by it in order to leave room for future issuance of additional stock in case the company needs to raise capital quickly.
This is significant because Amazon Pay is actively looking to increase the number of services it offers.
- Earlier this month, Amazon India partnered with BookMyShow to allow users to use Amazon Pay for booking tickets via BookMyShow.
- In August, Amazon had started beta testing mobile recharges in India via Amazon Pay. The recharge option is available on the Amazon website and as well through the mobile app and is open to all networks except Airtel.
Amazon India already has tie-ups with a range of merchants across verticals such as Redbus (bus tickets), Abhibus (bus tickets), Faasos (food ordering), Box 8 (food ordering), Haptik (chatbot platform), and Komparify (phone recharge and comparison platform) among several others.