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Google focus on Pay for next billion

Leveraging the user base of Google Pay, the Mountain View-based company has also launched a entry-level job service — Jobs Spot — for its users.

Sep 20, 2019, 09.49 AM IST
(This story originally appeared in on Sep 20, 2019)
NEW DELHI: Google Pay has clearly emerged as the largest bet for the US-based search giant in India. It was the centrepiece for Google’s new products in the country, aimed at the next billion users. Google Pay, which had clocked a $30-billion gross transaction runrate in August 2018, has grown over three times to $110-billion worth annualised transactions in September 2019, flowing through the payments app here, with 67 million monthly active users.

Walmart-owned PhonePe has also seen similar growth on UPI, with its total payments volume increasing from $20 billion in June 2018 to $95 billion in August 2019. The UPI network itself grew close to three times between August 2018 and August 2019 — both in terms of transactions and value of payments on the network, which stood at 918 million and Rs 1.55 lakh crore last month, respectively.

Leveraging the user base of Google Pay, the Mountain View-based company has also launched a entry-level job service — Jobs Spot — for its users, along with a new business app Spot Platform for merchants, to expand its payments network.

The development comes at a time when the NPCI, which manages the UPI, has discussed capping market share of players at 33% on the fast-growing network.

“Digital payments has been such a big priority for the government. I would be surprised if something like that (capping market share) happens,” said Google VP (Next Billion Users initiative and payments) Caesar Sengupta. The reason he gave was that the digital payments journey is at an early stage in India. “Our focus should be on really driving innovation, and truly driving inclusive growth. To bring billion Indians on digital payments, you’re going to need a lot of innovation and creativity.”

Google continued with its focus on enabling its products to be used in regional languages. It has added new local languages, and has launched a free phone line that will enable users to put any questions to Google Assistant without internet. As of now, this is available to the users of Vodafone-Idea.

Meanwhile, Payments platform PhonePe said it has revamped its super-app strategy for a clear messaging to consumers that they do not need to download the apps within its core app. Started a year ago as Apps, which hosted several apps in food, grocery, transportation, etc, it has been renamed Switch. PhonePe is hoping to clock over 10 million monthly transactions from Switch by end of the year as it ramps up app base by 10 times to 500 apps.

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