Amazon.com Inc has added insurance and even gold to its menu of financial services in India, to expand its customer base and attract more subscribers to its Prime loyalty programme in a battleground growth market.
The push ramps up competition as financial technology (fintech) rivals and their deep-pocketed foreign backers struggle for profitability in a predominantly cash-based economy where about 190 million adults do not have bank accounts.
To boost online payments, Amazon launched its Amazon Pay digital wallet in 2016. It has since introduced a credit card, signed up to a state-backed payments network, and processes payments for movie and flight tickets as well as telephone and utility bills.
It began offering auto insurance in July and gold investment products in August - both a first for Amazon.
Its US fintech efforts have been modest by comparison, stymied in part by merchant reluctance to use services offered by their biggest retail rival.
In India, however, where it has over 100 million registered users, Amazon is better placed to use financial services to win subscribers to its annual $13 Prime plan which offers faster shipping and music and video streaming, tech executives said.
Courtesy - The Economic Times