With an aim to make the payments process smoother for its customers, online marketplace Amazon India has gained licence from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to operate a prepaid wallet on its platform. The company currently offers the Amazon Pay wallet option to its users, which was a result of the retailer investing close to $10 million in Bengaluru-based gift card company QwikCilver in 2014.
When contacted for a comment on the development, Amazon India’s vice-president Payments Sriram Jagannathan said that the wallet would be used only for captive purposes on the Amazon.in portal.
“We are pleased to receive our PPI (prepaid payment instruments) licence from the RBI. Our focus is providing customers a convenient and trusted cashless payments experience. RBI is on the process of finalising the guidelines for PPIs. We look forward to seeing a continuation of the low limit wallet dispensation with simplified KYC & authentication. This will allow us to help customers adopt digital payments at scale and thereby contribute towards making India a less cash economy,” Jagannathan said.
Currently, buyers have to go through the two-factor authentication, if they need to pay with their cards, which are also stored on Amazon India’s portal. “We recently launched Amazon Pay where customers can fund their prepaid balance using internet banking and credit or debit card for smooth purchases and payments. With this, customers can go cashless and enjoy fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds coupled with a secured shopping experience only on Amazon.in,” he added.
The RBI recently issued draft guidelines for prepaid payment instruments (PPIs), and proposed to fix the upper limit for such wallets at Rs 1 lakh in view of growing usage of PPIs for purchase of goods and services. It also proposed to raise the minimum capital requirement for digital wallet operators by nearly five times.
Furthermore, the draft circular said that PPI issuers “shall ensure that there is no co-mingling of funds originating from any other activity that the issuer may be undertaking such as business correspondent of bank/s, intermediary for payment aggregation, payment gateway etc”.
“We hope the government and RBI would continue to encourage multiple ways to shift consumers from cash behaviour by recognizing the value of digital wallets, used especially for making small value payments to large merchants like ecom, government, IRCTC, utility or insurance companies,” Jagannathan said.