Internet major Google on Friday said it firmly sees itself as a partner to the existing financial ecosystem in India and that instances of partnerships being described as Google Pay’s offerings fuel misinterpretation. While the company did not elaborate of any specific instances, the latest assertion comes against the backdrop of reports that suggested Google Pay has launched fixed deposit offerings in partnership with a bank.
The company emphasised that in every geography where Google Pay is present, its stance is consistently one of partnering with the existing financial services and banking systems to help scale and enable frictionless delivery of financial products and services and contribute to the goal of financial inclusion. In a blogpost, Google India said there have been a few instances where these offerings have been reported as ‘Google Pay’s offerings’ which “fuels misinterpretation”.
“To be clear, we have always looked at our role firmly as a partner to the existing financial ecosystem that brings unique skill sets and offerings to drive further adoption of digital payments in the country,” it said. According to Google, several of its offerings are built on top of NPCI’s pioneering UPI payment network and infrastructure, “which has grown over 190X in the last 4 years, to processing over INR 6 trillion in value today”.
Furthering that objective, in 2019, “we had announced the launch of the Spot Platform on Google Pay, a surface for merchants of all types — offline or digital native, small or large, across use cases – to find payment-ready users,” it noted. The internet major also noted that its spot platform works as an additional discovery channel for many businesses to build and offer new experiences to users to drive adoption of their services.
The use cases span across ticket purchase, food ordering, paying for essential services like utility bills, shopping and getting access to various financial products. Providing a detailed explanation, Google said that many of these Spot experiences especially in the financial products/ service categories — be it insurance, wealth management, credit or other financial services — are regulated industries and each merchant is required to be duly authorised to provide those services before they are onboarded onto the platform.
“Today we have close to 400 merchant spots on Google Pay, and in this journey, we have seen that financial product offerings perform especially well, with offerings from spot experiences delivered by financial services players like CashE, Groww, 5paisa, Zest Money etc. seeing significant growth and engagement from users on Google Pay,” the blogpost said. Also, the company noted that this engagement underscores that payments platforms are a great surface to deliver financial services to users across the country.
“As Google Pay, our role is firmly circumscribed to providing these merchants a surface where Google Pay users can discover and gain from these offerings — be it credit products, insurance or any others… We are committed to play our role by using technology as a means to level social inequalities and contribute to this vision operating within the purview of India’s legal and regulatory frameworks,” it stated.
Earlier this week, Google Pay’s partnership with Equitas SFB was announced under which consumers can book fixed deposits fully digitally, without needing to open a savings account with the lender through its ‘spot’ integrated with the Google Pay platform.