For the first time, Amazon is combining its digital payments platform with Alexa to let users in India pay their utility, cable and cell phone bills through the digital assistant.
TechCrunch reports that the tech giant chose India as the first market for these new features because of the popularity of Amazon Pay there. The feature works on Alexa-enabled devices including Echo and Echo Dot, Fire TV Stick and even third-party gadgets such as headphones with the digital assistant built in.
Users could already buy things via Alexa, but this is the first time the digital assistant has been able to pay bills. It is unclear if or when Amazon might expand this capability to other countries, but it marks an important expansion of Amazon Pay, a feature launched in 2013 that lets customers use their Amazon accounts to pay on sites beyond Amazon.com.
Amazon said usage of Amazon Pay during India’s holiday season was up 3X over the prior year. To increase usage, Amazon offers goodies like cash back on some items and discounts on others.