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Amazon Pay, ICICI launch new credit card as US firm eyes fintech expansion

Karan Choudhury / New Delhi 31 Oct 18 | 05:34 AM

Amazon Pay, the online payments processing service owned by the America-based retailing major, has tied-up with ICICI Bank to launch an Amazon Pay ICICI Bank credit card in partnership with Visa.

It has planned to majorly expand in the financial technology space and in making digital money more prevalent in tier-III cities and other towns. Amazon Pay says their tie-up would help in greater penetration for ICICI into places where credit card usage is less. 

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This is the first card in the country to enable Amazon Prime members to earn five per cent reward points on shopping on Amazon.in. The points will be accumulated in the form of Amazon Pay balance, which can be used for either shopping on Amazon or spending on items such as bill payment, food ordering, travel ticketing and hotel booking, among other services.   

"As the card is available on Visa's network, customers also earn rewards at millions of merchant locations throughout India where Visa cards are accepted. Currently, this programme is available to selected Amazon and ICICI Bank customers and will be expanded to other customers over the coming months," said Vikas Bansal, director, emerging payments, Amazon Pay.

Sources say the plan is to launch similar credit cards with other banks. Amazon Pay also plans to offer a host of other fintech services, including mutual funds, in due course.

ALSO READ: Amazon saw 60% growth in new India customers with recent festive sales

"We are witnessing two distinct consumer trends. One, millions of Indians are making purchases for most of their requirements online. Two, customers are looking for richer reward propositions that provide them flexibility in redemption. We believe this compelling customer offering will contribute largely to the growth of the bank's credit card portfolio," said Sudipta Roy, general manager at ICICI.

Amazon Pay is also planning a major expansion in the offline space. It is thinking of a host of tie-ups with major retailers, as well as making Amazon Pay more prevalent among traditional family-run shops in small cities and towns.

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During the first wave of festive sales this year, the company said, 74 per cent of payments happened digitally. This figure was 64 per cent last year. The company is getting into tie-ups with a host of retailers, restaurants, hotels and travel portals, as part of a policy to expand in the digital money space. It believes it would get a number of repeat users, since its online marketplace is now the most visited and downloaded app in the country, according to some independent studies.

Amazon recently invested close to $5 million (Rs 370 million) in digital payments company ToneTag. This will help in the usage of its wallet offline. ToneTag uses soundwave technology to make payments and will help Amazon Pay get access to about 300,000 new merchants.

ALSO READ: Amazon, Samara seek CCI nod to acquire More supermarket chain 

The company plans to extend credit services for people who do not have a credit card or a credit score. It has been working with a number of banks and non-bank financial corporations on solutions. Amit Agarwal, senior vice-president and country manager at Amazon India, had recently said they would provide credit to its millions of users and were working in that direction.   

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