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Amazon may start selling insurance after IRDA approval: report

Amazon India will soon offer life, health, and general insurance products as a corporate agent, according to a Registrar of Companies (RoC) filing, reports BloombergQuint. According to both, BloombergQunit and Economic Times, the company is yet to seek an approval from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

A company spokesperson told MediaNama that “Amazon Pay is looking to serve the needs of customers around Insurance. Stay tuned in.”

Amazon is not the only company to expand its offerings in the financial services sector as its arch rival, Flipkart has already applied for a license to start selling insurance products. According to industry sources that MediaNama spoke to, many payments companies are keen on tapping into the insurance sector, given that insurance penetration in India is extremely low.

Competition in the online insurance space

In the online insurance ecosystem, Amazon will be competing with a host of other players including Paytm, EasyPolicy, Bankbazaar and PolicyBazaar. In terms of payment wallets, MobiKwik also plans to venture into newer domains of personal and consumer finance with a focus on lending and insurance. We reported last year that Flipkart would start selling insurance products on its platform. While these companies are aggregators, Narayan Murthy’s Catamaran Ventures-backed digital insurance company Acko General Insurance is the first insurance company with an online-only policy, which also received the final license from IRDAI in September last year.

Amazon Pay launches EMI facility

This week, Amazon Pay also launched a service which will enable users, who neither have access to credit services nor credit cards, to make purchases via EMIs for up to Rs 60,000. The service, currently an invite only program, will require users to complete a two-step registration process to get an assigned credit limit, according to a press release. Amazon has tied up with Capital Float to offer the instalment service. Amazon claims to offer zero cost EMIs for customers taking loans for a duration of 3 and 6 months, while an interest rate of 18% will be levied on customers opting for a duration of 9 and 12 months.

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Amazon India’s payment journey so far

  • In December 2016, Amazon launched ‘Pay’ in India
  • In April 2017, it received a wallet license from the RBI
  • In February this year, the company added a UPI based payments option to its website
  • Last month, Amazon Pay acquired ‘all-in-one app’ Tapzo to strengthen its payments offerings
  • In August, Amazon India launched a bill payment service across 100 utility providers
  • In the same month we also reported that its plan to launch a Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments service had been hampered owing to RBI’s concerns regarding the storage of user data in India.

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