Google, in an attempt to boost its share in India’s fast-growing digital payments market, has rebranded its payments app Google Tez into the Google Pay App. Also, the search giant has partnered with four big Indian banks to offer quick bank loans to the smartphone users.
Making it easier to get bank loans
In a statement on Tuesday, the search giant said that it has collaborated with ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank to offer quick pre-approved bank loans to the customers “right within Google Pay in a matter of seconds.”
“In the coming weeks, these customers will be able to use Google Pay to take out a customised loan amount from their banks, with minimal paperwork, and once they accept the bank’s terms, the money is deposited securely and instantly by their bank, into their bank account,” said the Vice-President of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative and its Payments, Caesar Sengupta.
Announcing the new bank loan service at an event in New Delhi, Sengupta said that the new facility of bank loans will expand the banking services to tens of millions of Indians.
“We’re talking to a lot of banks, we’re completely open with who we work with in terms of banking partners,” Sengupta told Times Of India.
Once the loan feature is released, the eligible users will get a notification that they are pre-approved. Users will then have to decide the amount and the time of repayment. Then, the bank reviews the terms of the loan, and if satisfied, the amount is deposited in the user’s bank account instantly without any paperwork.
Google Tez app is now Google Pay app
Google launched its made-in-India Google Tez app in September last year. However, to connect it with its global payment services, it has rebranded the Tez app as Google Pay app. The app allows users to avail a customized loan, and get the money directly into their bank account. By rebranding the Google Tez app, the U.S. firm now plans to experiment with the same services in other markets as well.
“Over time we’ll bring many of these features to Google Pay users in other countries, just as we’ll bring features we’ve launched elsewhere to India,” Sengupta said.
Google claims that the Google Tez app has more than 22 million monthly active users. According to the company, more than 750 million transactions have been processed through the Google Tez app.
— Google Pay India (@GooglePayIndia) August 28, 2018
Now, the rebranded Google Pay app will be made available to e-commerce websites and online merchants like BookMyShow, Mi, Redbus and more. Further, over 15,000 big retail stores will also get the app, including Big Bazaar (Indian version of Walmart).
Along with the payment services, Google is working on making available low-cost tech to the emerging markets. Talking of the KaiOS mobile operating system, in which the company has invested about $22 million, Sengupta said the company expects the OS to perform well in Africa and parts of South East Asia. KaiOS is a low-cost phone operating system. The same OS is being used by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani-backed Jio telecom venture to sell its low-cost internet-enabled phones.
Other India focused efforts from Google include extending its Google Station internet access program to more villages and cities. The search giant also plans to develop more Indian language content via its publishing initiative called Project Navlekha. Also, a new feature has been added to Google Go that reads out websites in English and five Indian languages.
India’s digital payment market – the next battleground
Global tech firms are in a race to woo users with their financial services in the world’s fastest-growing mobile market. According to an estimate from Credit Suisse, India’s digital payments space would grow five-fold to $1 trillion by 2023.
Mobile users often look for small loans with less paperwork involved, and thus, tech companies are focusing efforts to become the preferred option for all their financial needs. Facebook is known to be testing a payment service in India on its messaging platform WhatsApp.
Paytm, India’s biggest digital payments company with about 150 million app downloads, already enjoys the backing of China’s Alibaba and Japan’s SoftBank. Also, the company may soon get up to $360 million in investments from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Paytm, which already offers limited banking facilities, plans selling financial products in the country including mutual funds and insurance.