After establishing themselves in the core ecommerce domains in India, companies are now looking to expand related verticals on an aggressive basis. And digital payments looks to be the catch right now, after Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal — almost all of them acquired companies in the logistics segment earlier.
The latest of these companies to take a dive into the digital payments sector is Amazon India, which has acquired over three years old, Noida-HQed online payments solutions provide, Emvantage. The deal — financials of which remain undisclosed — is expected to close in Q12016. Amazon says, that post acquisition, Emvantage’s employees will be joining its payments team to develop India-specific payment products and solutions for both customers and e-commerce players in the country.
Emvantage has developed a quantum of payment solutions optimised to work on both desktop as well as mobile platform. These solutions include the likes of QR-code based solutions, NFC-based solutions mobile swiper solutions etc. The company has also developed prepaid wallets and prepaid card-based solutions, social payment solutions like Facebook buy button and campaign-based payment solutions among others.
For Amazon, this will be help it stand against its bigger rivals in India — Flipkart, paytm and Snapdeal, all three of whom have already made massive investments into the digital payments space.
Snapdeal acquired Freecharge for close to $450 Million last year. The company then launched ‘FreeCharge Wallet’ and a virtual plastic card this year. Paytm already possesses India’s most used mobile wallet platform, with a RBI approved payments bank license opening way for a new payments bank soon. Paytm is in fact planning to raise a massive $400Mn round for this payments bacnk alone, which could see its biggest investor Alibaba coming back into action.
Flipkart on the other hand, though not as deeply involved in digital payments as its rivals, too has made significant investments into Fxkart (expected to rollout this year) and ngpay. Interestingly, Flipkart had shut down its own online payments arm Payzippy in 2014.