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Category: Social Media Payment

Amazon Pay launches new services in India

People in India who have Amazon Pay are now able to use Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant, to pay a range of bills including internet, mobile, utility and cable. TechCrunch reports that any device linked to Alexa—including the Echo Dot smart speaker, Fire TV Stick dongle and even third-party-manufactured headphones—is capable of making the transaction.

While Amazon Pay customers have been able use Alexa to make purchases for quite some time now, this is the first time the company has extended that capability to things like water, gas, electricity and TV bills. Amazon Pay has witnessed significant growth in India over the past few years. As TechCrunch reports:

“Amazon Pay is available in many markets, but the service has become especially popular in India, where the concept of parking money to a digital wallet skyrocketed in usage in late 2016 after the Indian government invalidated much of the paper bills in circulation in the country.

“Without disclosing specific figures, Amazon said “3X more customers” compared to last year’s event used the Amazon Pay service to pay during the recent six-day festive sales. It said a quarter of all digital transactions during the event were carried out on its Pay service.”

To help accommodate Indian customers, Amazon has offered deals such as cash back and discounts to Pay users on items like food and travel expenses. According to Amazon, Indian “customers booked flight tickets worth 300 trips around the earth” using Amazon Pay over the holiday season.

Earlier this year, after Amazon Pay launched person-to-person payments in India, director of Amazon Pay Vikas Bansal said:

“Our goal is to make Amazon Pay the most trusted, convenient and rewarding way to pay for our customers. The customers trust their Amazon app and we continue to expand payment use cases directly on the app. With this launch, we have the largest selection of shopping and payment use cases on the Amazon Android app which provides added convenience and control to our customers.”

ALTBalaji partners with Amazon Pay

Indian video-on-demand company ALTBalaji has entered into a partnership with Amazon Pay, according to a statement by Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO of ALTBalaji and Group COO Balaji Telefilms. As a result, Best Media Info reports, ALTBalaji “customers can now experience a one-click purchase using Amazon Pay and avail of a flat 50% cashback of up to Rs 150 on paying for their ALTBalaji subscription.”

Pantvaidya lauded the partnership as an important step toward future growth and customer satisfaction, as well as general convenience:

“This partnership helps us cater to audiences who prefer the Amazon ecosystem and payment options, which is considered as the most trusted gateway for digital audiences across the country.

“Through this partnership, ALTBalaji’s library of homegrown, original premium content will now be even more accessible to a wider and newer set of audiences.

“The association will further help us extend our reach, while allowing Amazon Pay to offer their customers the entire catalogue of ALTBalaji’s premium content at an extremely competitive price point.”

Likewise, Manesh Mahatme, Director of Amazon Pay India, asserted that the association will create a more customer-friendly interface.

“Integration of Amazon Pay on ALT Balaji gives consumers a safe and seamless payment choice,” he said. “I am certain that this partnership will enhance the overall consumer experience on the platform and will encourage more subscribers to enjoy a friction-free checkout.”

For example, customers will now have access to “one-click” payments that make for an easier and faster transaction process. “Additionally,” Best Media Info reports, “through Amazon Pay, customers can receive refunds faster and also view the details of balance transactions using an online statement.”

Founded in 2015, ALTBalaji is available by subscription only. It offers customers a wide variety of content and genres including drama, comedy, thriller, crime, mystery and romance.

Apple CEO: Apple Pay now outgrowing PayPal

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple Pay is now growing at a faster rate than PayPal, the web’s most popular payment service. Apple Pay is the company’s mobile payment service that allows users to make purchases using their iPhones.

During a call with investors, Cook asserted that Apple Pay is currently servicing close to one billion transactions every month—an increase of more than 100% from a year ago. Business Insider reports: “In the past three months, [Apple Pay] has launched in 17 new countries, which means its reach now extends to 47 markets in total, including the entire European Union.”

Cook stated that, over the last quarter, Apple Pay bested PayPal in two critical areas: volume of transactions per month and the number of new users that have signed on to the service.

“Cook was likely referencing numbers reported earlier this month in PayPal’s second-quarter earnings,” Business Insider reports. “PayPal said that it added nine million new members during the second quarter. It also said that engagement per active account increased by 9% to 39 times a year.”

While Cook’s spokespeople did not respond to a request for comment, Business Insider estimates that a minimum of nine million new users were picked up by Apple Pay during the last quarter.

In January Apple announced that, with the addition of Target, Taco Bell, Hy-Vee supermarkets in the Midwest, Speedway convenience stores and Jack in the Box, “74 of the top 100 merchants in the US and 65 percent of all retail locations across the country will support Apple Pay.”

Commenting on the expansion, Apple’s vice president of Internet Services, Jennifer Baily, stated:

“Whether customers are buying everyday household items, groceries, snacks for a road trip or grabbing a quick meal, Apple Pay is the easiest way to pay in stores, while also being secure and faster than using a credit or debit card at the register. We’re thrilled even more customers will be able to pay at their favorite stores and restaurants using the Apple devices that are always with them.”