Amazon India’s fintech Vice President Sriraman Jagannathan has resigned from the company. The e-commerce giant confirmed the development to MediaNama, saying that he quit the firm due to personal/ family reasons. Jagannathan joined Amazon India in January 2016 to lead its payments business, following a stint at IDFC Bank as its chief digital and data officer. Before that, Jagannathan worked as the CEO of Airtel mCommerce, where he had ‘set up and launched Airtel Money’ according to his LinkedIn profile.
An Amazon India spokesperson has told MediaNama that Amazon Pay’s current chief Mahendra Nerurkar, will now oversee the financial services portfolio, which was managed by Jagannathan. According to reports, Nerurkar replaced Jagannathan as Amazon Pay’s head, when the later was assigned the larger role of leading the firm’s financial services vertical.
This could be a tough time for Narurkar to take over as we reported earlier this month that the company’s plan to launch its own Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments service has been hampered owing to the Reserve Bank of India’s concerns regarding the storage of user data in India. Moreover, most international payment companies operating in India are now worried that they will not be able to adhere to the RBI’s deadline of storage of payment system data in India.
In April, the RBI, mandated that all payments system operators working in India had to ensure that data related to payment systems operated by them is stored in India only within 6 months. The move would have come into effect from October 15 this year, according to a report by the Economic Times.
Amazon India’s payment story
Amazon Pay was launched in December 2016 as a rebranded version of its Gift Card balance feature which allowed users to top up and generate an online gift voucher. In April last year, Amazon India received a wallet license from the RBI, which enabled it to do away with the two-factor authentication system for Amazon Pay.
Earlier this year, the company added a UPI based payments option for customers who are making purchases on the website. Amazon India head Amit Agarwal said that Amazon Pay would be integrated with UPI, however, he did not mention specific timelines. Reports claimed that the e-commerce company had even roped in Axis Bank to start issuing UPI handles to users of Amazon Pay.
In regards to funding, Amazon pumped in Rs 230 crore in Amazon Pay last month. Before that, the company made an investment of Rs 195 crore into its payments arm in March. Last year, the payments entity received a funding of Rs 260 crore in October and Rs 130 crore in July. The Seattle based company also infused Rs 67 crore in May last year.
Amazon’s arch rival in its core e-commerce business may also prove to be its biggest competitor in the payments space as the Flipkart backed PhonePe claimed that it was the largest UPI-based payments player in the country with a 40% share of the market in July. According to data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NCPI), UPI has reported 235.6 million transactions in July.