Amazon India is cashing in on demonetisation through its new wallet-like feature called Amazon Pay Balance through which users can refill their Amazon Pay Balance using internet banking and credit or debit card once and use it for multiple transactions for their purchases on the site. This new feature comes at a time when the e-commerce sector (which is largely driven by cash-on-delivery) has been hard by the cash crunch following demonetisation.
Through Amazon Pay Balance, the e-commerce giant is trying to make the process of online payments smooth on its site. Users can also receive refunds faster than online bank transfer, cash-backs, promotional credits and maintain gift card balances as well. It also offers an online statement like feature to keep a track on the transactions. Amazon India is luring its users with an introductory offer of up to 15 per cent cash back (maximum Rs 450) on those payments which are made by Amazon Pay Balance.
Sriram Jagannathan, Vice President, Payments, Amazon India, said, “We are happy to launch Amazon Pay Balance. All customers have to do is load their balance and a friction-free payment experience awaits them. We will keep innovating to ensure that our customers have a more hassle free payment experience.”
On the other hand, Amazon’s competitors have already tested the water in this territory. Flipkart has already been pushing its UPI-based mobile wallet PhonePe in the market, which, unlike Amazon Pay Balance, allows users transact every type of activity such as peer-to-peer money transfer, bill payments, recharges, and online shopping on Myntra and Jabong. According to media reports it has been downloaded by 100,000 users and boasts of 500,000 registered users (as on November, 2016).
Meanwhile, Snapdeal is already basking in the success of its digital wallet Freecharge, which recently reported a sharp 12-fold rise in the average wallet balance loaded by its customers into their wallets within 30 days since the demonetisation was announced.