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Amazon Pay will facilitate small loans and insurance for kirana shops and allow offline merchant partners to generate their own QR codes using the ‘Amazon Pay for Business’ app to receive customer payments, a top company executive said.

The payments and financial services arm of Amazon India claims to have signed up close to 5 million merchants on unified payments interface (UPI).

“When we think about micro-financial services, kiranas have become a key part for the long tail of merchants; we want to extend these services too. However, we are happy to be an enabler marketplace for these services, with banks, lenders and other financial institutions doing a good job in offering these services," Amazon Pay India director and chief executive Mahendra Nerurkar said in an interview.

Amazon, which has been exploring the digital opportunity in kiranas, recently said it plans to bring 1 million offline retailers and neighbourhood stores on its platform by 2025 through its ‘Local Shops’ programme, aimed to help local stores gain an online foothold.

Nerurkar said while Amazon Pay looks to offer new services on its business app, it is still trying to understand the product market-fit for its new offerings for kirana stores.

“The two big areas for Amazon Pay are ‘digitizing cash’ and scaling its credit offering. We want to enable customers to consume more and extend credit in a responsible way. The moment you digitize cash for a customer, you will be able to offer more services to them later. And this stands true for SMEs too," said Nerurkar.

Amazon Pay launched a ‘Smart Store’ last year, which allows users to scan QR codes at offline shops and begin exploring products. Nerurkar said Amazon is figuring ways to also help these merchants get a stronger online foothold on the Amazon marketplace.

Recently, Amazon India acquired retail startup Perpule to help kirana partners digitally manage and automate inventory, purchase orders from distributors and billings.

Over the course of last year, Amazon leveraged its logistics fleet to help customers load cash into their wallets at their doorstep. In addition, it also launched tailor-made credit offerings in partnership with CapitalFloat to help customers pay through credit.

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