Google Pay in India (then known as Tez) was launched on September 18, 2017. Google Pay set out with a mission: make digital payments simple. The digital payment platform now has 25 million monthly active Google Pay users and 1.2 million businesses in India, who have responded wholeheartedly and helped them move forward.
Google Pay is being used from Kanyakumari to Mandvi to Dimapur, for paying bills, rent, the chaiwallah, the plumber, and even bus rides. Google Pay even enables sending money home or splitting bills with friends. Google Pay has enabled over 860 million transactions in the last year.
And the Tez mode, powered by Google’s Audio QR technology, allows sending money without sharing numbers or bank accounts. Google Pay pays paramount importance to users’ privacy, and enables them to be in control of their data. Google informs users about what data they collect, how it’s used, and why. Google also builds powerful data controls into users’ Google Account, so they can choose the privacy settings that are right for them.
Security is a key part of Google Pay. Google’s expertise in security and machine learning backs every transaction, and it’s working 24/7 to help detect spam, fraud, prevent hacking, and verify and protect the identity of every user. Google accounts are also protected by phone security safeguards such as passcodes or fingerprint IDs, as well as a Google PIN code.
The four payment service provider partners who came on board Google Pay early are Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and the State Bank of India. Google and the banks together built a first-of-its-kind, multiple payment service providers (MSPs) platform. The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) created the infrastructure that enabled this. Since the launch of Google Pay, India’s monthly UPI transactions have grown 18X to 312M in August- making India one of the world’s leading innovators in digital payments.
It’s been quite a journey since Prime Minister Modi and IT Minister RS Prasad called on Google to support digital payments and financial inclusion in India and a year since the launch of Tez by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. But there is a lot more to be done. Barely a 100 million or so Indians are using digital payments and over a billion more Indians need to be empowered. That will take a lot of hard work, deep investment and the best technology and ideas from India and around the world.
Google will continue working with the government and industry players to innovate and bring the benefits of a digital India to everyone.
(The story is based on a blog by Caesar Sengupta, Vice President, Payments and Next Billion Users, Google)