Amazon buys Emvantage to bolster payment services in India

Emvantage's portfolio is catered to the Indian population, which is known for having little affiliation with traditional banking systems.


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Amazon on Tuesday said it was acquiring Indian payments company Emvantage. Financial terms were not disclosed.

While the deal is largely inconsequential to Amazon's operations here in the U.S., it's a big indicator of how the company is posturing for a bigger slice of the Indian e-commerce market.

Emvantage enables online merchants to accept mobile, credit and debit card payments. It also offers services that allow merchants to establish their own branded pre-paid debit cards.

Put together, Emvantage's portfolio is catered perfectly to the Indian population, which is known for having little affiliation with traditional banking systems. According to a 2015 report from the World Bank, India -- the world's second most populous country -- is home to 21 percent of the world's unbanked adults.

"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."

Amazon first entered India's e-commerce market in 2012. Two years later, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos committed to a $2 billion investment in the region as part of the company's expansion plans.

"We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India," Bezos said in a 2014 announcement. "At current scale and growth rates, India is on track to be our fastest country ever to a billion dollars in gross sales. A big 'thank you' to our customers in India -- we've never seen anything like this."

As part of the acquisition, Emvantage employees will join Amazon's payments team in India.


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