Amazon Faces Off against Google and Facebook in India


May. 15 2019, Updated 3:12 p.m. ET

Competition goes beyond advertising

Amazon (AMZN) recently launched a peer-to-peer payment service in India, vying against Google (GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) for dominance of the market. Amazon Pay allows people to send money to friends and family, settle bills, and pay for purchases from their handsets. The platform is initially rolling out to Android phones, which comprise the vast majority of smartphones in India.

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Amazon already competes with Google and Facebook for digital advertising dollars, and the launch of its Indian peer-to-peer payment service is set to intensify their rivalry. Google launched a mobile payment service in India in 2019 called Tez. Last year, Google upgraded the service to include lending, allowing users to obtain small loans from certain Indian lenders. Meanwhile, Facebook has been testing a mobile payment service attached to its WhatsApp platform.

Amazon expands in India’s $1.0 trillion digital payment market

Amazon’s venture into mobile payments and peer-to-peer money transfer in India also puts it in a collision course with PayPal (PYPL), which launched domestic operations in India in the fall of 2017. Amazon’s latest move in India is also set to intensify its competition with Walmart (WMT), which closed a multibillion-dollar purchase of a majority stake in Indian e-commerce provider and fierce Amazon competitor Flipkart last year. In addition to its e-commerce business, Flipkart runs a mobile payment service, PhonePe. Credit Suisse forecasts India’s digital payment market to grow to $1.0 trillion by 2023.


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