Amazon India Adds Insurance and Gold Services To Its E-Commerce Platform

Amazon India has introduced financial services which include gold and insurance in the menu of its multiple offerings. The company has expanded its portfolio in the country to attract more consumers and subscribers to its Prime program, Reuters reported.

The United States-based company is ramping up to mark its dent in the economy where about 190 Million people don’t have bank accounts. Currently, cash is dominating the Indian market; meanwhile, it inclination to digital payments is surging exponentially. As of now, Amazon has 100 Million Indian users registered on its Amazon digital payment wallet.

Amazon has launched a digital gold offering for its customers. The e-commerce platform has partnered with SafeGold to introduce a feature called “Gold Vault” on its platform. With the help of its feature, the consumers can sell the amount of gold at competitive pricing. Other digital payment platforms such as PhonePe, Paytm, Google Pay, Freecharge, and Mobiwik had already launched similar offerings. Most of these platforms allow consumers to buy gold for a sum as low as ₹1 while Amazon Pay needs a minimum sum of ₹5.

“It’s not going to be easy to win over the fin-tech market,” said a person who declined to reveal his identity owing to a business relationship with Amazon. “It’s competitive and varied, so it’s going to be a slow process.” Meanwhile, Mahendra Nerurkar, head of Amazon Pay in India, said that the company aspires to be the first choice for digital payment which has currently 4 Million merchants. He added that Chinese fashion designers are cutting off the back pocket from the jeans as there’s no need of payments now and “would like to happen the same in India.”

Amazon has added auto insurance services to its e-commerce platform. Amazon Pay has partnered with Mumbai-based Acko General Insurance to provide bike and car insurance services. Varun Dua, the CEO of the insurance company said, “We are happy to partner with Amazon Pay to offer an auto insurance proposition that has been designed with the customer at the center. Through this product, we aim to deliver a superior consumer experience right from purchase to claims by making it more affordable, accessible, and seamless.”

The thin margin in the digital payments businesses has led various companies to add various products on their platform. “It is likely that the next step for Amazon would be to distribute exchange-traded funds and mutual funds,” said Niren Shah, the Indian head of Silicon Valley firm Norwest Venture Partners.

Meanwhile, Reliance Industries acquired Future Group and its grocery chain, Big Bazar. It’s similar to Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods. This fierce race to capture the online market has created a rivalry between the two companies. In 2019, Reliance launched JioMart, an e-commerce grocery delivery platform, which is similar to Amazon Pantry which was launched in 2016.

Last month, Indian online retailers filed an antitrust case against retail behemoth Amazon. The company is already facing antitrust cases in the United States, Canada, and Europe. According to Forbes, Amazon is using its private labels to have an edge over the third-party sellers on the e-commerce platform.