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.”