Digital transactions have been instrumental in providing products and services to the masses over the last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic demanded avoidance of physical touch. In fact, online payment mechanisms have ensured that small and medium businesses as well as micro sellers were able to serve their customers during this pandemic, and continue to grow their business.
Launched in 2016 in India, Amazon Pay has been making digital transactions easier and accessible for all, no matter from which part of the country they come from. In the last five years, we have seen our sellers and customers adapting to the online payment mechanism massively. Over 50 lakh neighborhood stores & businesses, most of whom earlier transacted only in cash, now accept payments from their customers using Amazon Pay’s QR Code and we are humbled to share how Amazon Pay has helped them, especially during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, when India witnessed an economic slowdown.
With Amazon Pay's ease of payment with QR Codes, Divyaraj Singh - who runs a pharmacy in Ahmedabad – has been able to grow his business. As medicines were among the essential items, Divyaraj had kept his shop open during the lockdown. So, while his earnings did not get affected much, commuting to work and being in his shop all day meant the danger of exposure to the deadly virus and putting him and his family at risk. While he took precautions at the store and maintained a distance of six meters between himself and his customers, switching to Amazon Pay made a huge difference. He says that this proved to be safer as it not only avoided human touch, thereby preventing spread, but it also made his customers feel safe. So in some ways, digital payments ensured his business ran smoothly and safely.
The future is online
Student-entrepreneur Rahi Biswas (20) from Hooghly, West Bengal, has also adopted to digital payments in the last year, thanks to Amazon Pay. She owns a bookshop in her town, and supports herself financially from this income.
As was the case for most small and medium businesses in the country, the COVID-19 pandemic caused financial problems for Rahi too. The nation-wide lockdown led to fewer footfalls, thereby reducing her sales and income. Of course, people still continued to buy books and other items – but their method of consumption had moved online.
Observing this major change in consumer behaviour, Rahi too started accepting payments via Amazon Pay at her physical store. She wanted to offer the benefits of online payment to her offline customers as well, and installed Amazon Pay QR Code at her shop counter. While the easing of lockdown meant more customers in her store again, she says "With Amazon Pay, customers feel safer with paying online – and I couldn’t be happier."
“With Amazon Pay, customers feel safer with paying online – and I couldn’t be happier”
Cashback saves the day!
Since 2009, Kapil Goyal has been running a grocery store established by his father 30 years ago. Like many, the pandemic put a strain on his financial resources as well. However, once he started using Amazon Pay by mid-2020, things started looking up. “Even for the smallest payments at my store done via Amazon Pay, I got cashback offers. This was a relief as it was money coming in during a difficult period,” he says, adding, “Also, these days most customers ask me nowadays if I have Amazon Pay, as they prefer paying with it.” Echoing this sentiment is Gujarat-based Ankit Shah, who was forced to shut down his tours and travels business during the pandemic and work as a cab driver in Delhi. He says that adopting digital payments is the way to go and that “Cashbacks are a good incentive to move to digital.”
“Cashbacks are a good incentive to move to digital”
Amazon Pay launched the “Amazon Pay For Business” mobile app to simplify accepting digital payments for SMBs. Currently available on Android, the app can be used by businesses across the country to register themselves, generate a unique QR code and start accepting digital payments within minutes. Customers can use any UPI app to scan the Amazon QR code and make a payment to these businesses.