James Lloyd, Ernst & Young’s fintech leader, in an interview with TechCrunch at TechCrunch and TechNode’s event in Shenzhen, China on Monday predicted that Amazon could become a dominant player in fintech.
Lloyd forecast that the tech giant would strive to expand into payments, lending and credit scoring. “They’ll get into everything that facilitates their ecosystem,” he said adding that he sees parallels between Amazon and Ant Financial (formerly Alipay), an affiliate of Alibaba.
However, it’s still not clear why Amazon constantly delay their entry into Southeast Asia. “A big question even for their core e-commerce business is what is Amazon going to do in Asia,” he said. Previous reports claimed that the firm initially planned to launch e-commerce services in Singapore in early 2017 but later the schedule slipped to “later this year.”
The company has recently revelealed that in the past year they have lent as much as $1 billion in small loans to more than 20,000 merchants in the United States, Japan and the U.K. “We created Amazon Lending to make it simple for up-and-coming small businesses to efficiently get a business loan, because we know that an infusion of capital at the right moment can put a small business on the path to even greater success,” said Peeyush Nahar, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, in a company announcement.
“Small businesses are in our DNA. Amazon is providing capital to small businesses to help them expand inventory and operations at a critical period of their growth. We understand that a small loan can go a long way.”
Ernst & Young’s fintech expert predicted that Amazon is likely to double down on this space. “They have a huge amount of data that they could leverage to figure out how much you might need for the next three months for inventory.”
After that Jack Zhang took to the stage who is a co-founder and CEO of Airwallex, a transfer payments company for businesses. His thoughts appeared to be opposite to the previous speaker as Zhang said he doesn’t really believe bitcoin will be a long-term player in international transactions as the bitcoin market doesn’t feature enough liquidity. “I don’t think that’s the future of cross-border payment,” he summed up.
Just a few days ago Amazon introduced its Dash Wand with Alexa to allow you buy everything. Its an instant-ordering gadget has the voice-enabled smart assistant that will assist users with ordering food, controlling smart home devices and other tasks.
The Dash Wand has the size of a small remote control that perfectly fits in a palm. It looks very stylish but apart from it it’s also durable, water-resistand and magnetic, so you can easily leave it on the fridge.
The Wi-Fi enabled device is sold at the price of $20, for a limited time, buyers will receive $20 worth of Amazon credit once they purchase and register the product. Buyers are also promised a 90-day free trail of the grocery service, which usually costs $14.99 per month.