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Amazon plans to set up digital wallet in India


E-tailer giant Amazon is planning to set up a digital Wallet in India. The company, as a part of its initiatives to create an online payment business, would create the new digital Wallet system through acquisitions, a local newspaper reported quoting insider sources from the company.  The plans were revealed at a time when Flipkart, its biggest rival in India  launched its online payment system last week. The competition in India’s eCommerce market has forced the major players to get more control over the transactions. According to the sources, the launch of the digital wallet in India is likely a quarter away.

According to the sources, Amazon India is trying to acquire multiple companies specializing in the online payment sector.  It is a major focus area and the company is trying to figure out what it needs to do”, one of the sources said, adding that the company has initiated acquisition talks with digital wallet and payments startups. As a part of  setting up the digital Wallet, Amazon has hired former Citibank chief Sriraman Jagannathan, to head its payment business. Jagannathan was instrumental in launching telecom operator Bharti Airtel’s digital wallet, Airtel Money, in 2012.

In addition, Amazon has taken over Delhi based payments services provider Emvantage, which was the first acquisition for the eCommerce giant in India. Amazon previously launched a digital wallet in the United States, its home turf, in 2014 but shut it in six months.

Currently, Amazon India uses its gift cards as pre-paid instruments for buying on its online marketplace, offering customers the option to top up these cards for up to Rs 10,000, which is the limit applicable to digital wallets under Indian regulations. This month, during its ‘Super Value Day’ sale, the e-tailer offered customers cashbacks on gift cards if they shopped for a specified minimum amount.

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