Amazon bought Emvantage to help develop a payments system in India.
It’s no secret that e-commerce giant Amazon has been betting on India as one of its next big markets outside the U.S. The company is not only investing capital in the region, but also acquiring startups to help expand its presence in the country. On Tuesday, Amazon announced it had acquired Indian payments company Emvantage Payments Pvt. Ltd. Amazon did not disclose the acquisition amount.
Similar to Stripe or PayPal, Emvantage allows online merchants to accept credit and debit cards. The company also allowed merchants to set up their own branded pre-paid debit cards and mobile payments.
In a statement, Amazon said the acquisition would help the company speed up the development of a payment service for e-commerce in India. Emvantage’s employees will join Amazon’s payments team to develop payments products specifically for the Indian market.
“We are laser focused on providing customers in India with a convenient and trust worthy shopping experience” said Srinivas Rao, Director Amazon Payments India in a statement. “Emvantage is a valuable addition to our team as we accelerate our payment offerings, ensuring the best in class online payment experience anywhere that customers shop with us.”
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Amazon recently told Fortune’s Vivian Walt that India will be its biggest market after the U.S. within a decade. Diego Piacentini, Amazon’s senior vice president for international retail, said that the sales opportunity for Amazon is measured in trillions of dollars.
Morgan Stanley recently estimated that revenue from e-commerce could reach $137 billion by 2020, up from $11 billion in 2013.
Central to this growth will be making the ability to pay for items online and in mobile phones as simple as swiping or tapping a button. But India is vastly different from the U.S. when it comes to credit cards and and online payments. Only 60% of Indians have bank accounts, with a small portion of these individuals owning credit cards.
It’s likely this acquisition will help further Amazon’s ambitions of creating a payments system that works for the Indian population, and its growing ambitions in the region.