Amazon will acquire startup Emvantage for an undisclosed amount to develop its Indian e-commerce site’s payment platform. In a press announcement, Amazon said the Noida-based company’s employees will start working for Amazon’s payment team after the transaction is completed.
Founded in 2012 by chief executive officer Vivek Sagar, Emvantage’s platform includes a payment gateway for online transactions made using credit or debit cards, mobile payment tools that integrate into merchant apps, and a prepaid wallet.
Making it easier for customers to pay for online purchases is a key point of focus for India’s top e-commerce businesses, which include Amazon, Snapdeal, and Flipkart. India’s e-commerce market is expected to be worth $100 billion by 2020, but the country’s credit card penetration rate is still extremely low. Instead, many shoppers pay for e-commerce purchases using online wallets that can be topped up at brick-and-mortar stores, pre-paid cards, or cash on delivery.
Paytm, an online payments company backed by Alibaba, is positioning its mobile wallet as an alternative to credit and debit cards, but it competes with several payment gateways owned by India’s major e-commerce players. These include Snapdeal’s Klickpay and Freecharge; FX Mart, which was acquired by Flipkart last September; and now Emvantage (Amazon is expected to close the transaction by the end of March).
In a statement, Srinivas Rao, the director of Amazon Payments India, said “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.”