India’s booming payments market is attracting established global players, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google (GOOGL) aims to increase its market share with new launches. At the annual Google for India event, the company announcement it was renaming its old Google Tez mobile payment app to Google Pay. The update also comes with the launch of new features, the most important being the offer of pre-approved instant loans for users. (See also: Top 3 mobile wallets of 2018.)
Google Tez secures a strong footprint in India
Google Tez was launched in India in September 2017. It supports localized content and multiple Indian languages. Thanks to its cashback offers and games, the app has managed to build a strong user base, especially among younger users. The company says it has 22 million monthly active users on Google Pay. Together, they accounted for over 750 million transactions with an average annual transaction value of 200 billion Indian rupees (about $2.8 billion).
The rebranding to Google Pay comes as the Mountain View, Calif.-based tech giant kicks off unifying all of its global payment offerings, with plans to launch the app in more countries. In India, the company hopes to expand its services to a host of online merchants and service providers that include ticketing, travel and leisure portals like Redbus, BookMyShow and Goibibo. It also aims to expand to over 15,000 retail stores like Big Bazaar, FBB and e-Zone.
Instant loans via Google Pay
The most striking feature of the updated app is its offer of instant loans. Google has partnered with a group of major Indian private banks such as Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to facilitate instant loans to customers.
“In the coming weeks, these customers will be able to use Google Pay to take out a personalized loan amount from their bank, with minimal paperwork, and once they agree to the bank’s terms, the money will be deposited. securely and instantly through their bank, into their bank account,” said Caesar Sengupta, general manager of payments at Google.
However, the company will face stiff competition from other popular mobile payment platforms including Paytm, MobiKwik, Flipkart’s PhonePe and other new entrants like JioMoney, which is backed by the Indian company. most valuable, Reliance Industries Ltd. Facebook’s WhatsApp has started testing its beta version. payments department in February. (See also: Berkshire Hathaway confirms its investment in Paytm in India.)