If it wasn't already clear, Amazon has big ambitions for its payments service, Amazon Pay. The company has added the ability to make mobile recharges, one of the most common use cases of any mobile wallet app, to its payments service in India.
At present in beta stage, users can now recharge their phone numbers using Amazon Pay, which also serves as a wallet service (also known as 'bucket'). Available on the Web as well as through Amazon India's app, Amazon Pay lets people store money in the service and also supports all the plastic cards and net banking option for payments. For now, it doesn't support mobile recharges for phone numbers on Airtel network, the website says.
“We continuously innovate on behalf of our customers. Our focus is on creating better shopping and payment experiences for them. Our new offering is towards this end. The offering is currently in beta,” a spokesperson told Gadgets 360.
Amazon Pay has been available in the country for several months now. Even though company hasn't marketed Amazon Pay much, it has tried to win customers by giving lucrative deals if they pay using the Pay service. During Prime Day, for instance, Amazon offered customers a cashback on certain products. Amazon India has also been trying to lure customers to purchase Prime subscription, at present available at a discounted price of Rs. 499, at even lower prices.
The interest of Amazon in the payment space comes at a time when several major local players have been cashing in on the government's demonetisation move. Amid demonetisation, Paytm and MobiKwik, two large mobile wallet apps, reported skyrocketing growth in volume of transaction and new users.
The only other international giant which has so far attempted to serve Indians with their mobile payment solution is Samsung, which launched Samsung Pay last year. The company has partnered with several mobile wallet apps and banks to support their payments protocols on its service.
Going forward, Amazon Pay will also support UPI, a source familiar with the matter said. But for now, it appears Amazon is taking its time when it comes to new features roll-out.
Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.