Google widens its UPI lead ahead of WhatsApp’s e-payments foray; launches new app for merchants

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Updated: September 19, 2019 8:22:03 PM

Technology for MSMEs: With the new app by Google Pay, launched two years back in India, physical merchants can place a ‘Spot Code’ like a QR code at specific locations that customers would be able to scan.

Google Pay has in a short span of time zoomed past other players in the market.

Technology for MSMEs: Ahead of WhatsApp’s launch of its payment app this year, Google Pay, India’s top UPI-based payment app by the Android-maker Google, on Thursday announced the Google Pay app for merchants — Spot Platform —  to strengthen its market position. With the new app by Google Pay, launched two years back in India, physical merchants can place a ‘Spot Code’ like a QR code at specific locations that customers would be able to scan. Customers can scan this Spot Code physically or online to “go straight into the business’s Spot on Google Pay. This works because Spot Codes are a combination of a custom visual code and an NFC tag. Just scan or tap and you’re in the Spot,” Ambarish Kenghe, Director, Product Management, Google Pay said in the company blog.

“Among small merchants, there is so much headroom to grow. But it is not just the question of enabling payments, it is about giving full-stack service to small businesses and this is a huge fragmented market. The depth of services has to be built because merchants anyways have been receiving money from UPI apps,” Vivek Belgavi, Partner, India FinTech Leader, PwC India told Financial Express Online. This cannot be a plain vanilla payment play. There has to be a full services stack, he added.

Also read: Google Pay the king of UPI payments in India with $110 billion in annual transactions

Google Pay has in a short span of time zoomed past other players in the market. Google Pay saw annualised transaction value worth $110 billion with 6.7 crore monthly users, dwarfing Paytm many times over. With respect to PhonePe, its “annualised transaction value stood at over $100 billion while the monthly active user base is 6 crore,” a company spokesperson told Financial Express Online. 

As per the data from the Reserve Bank of India, the total value of mobile wallet payments was at Rs 1.84 lakh crore in FY19 even as Google Pay is learnt to have the majority share in UPI payments with 60 per cent market share. 

While Business with Paytm app has over 1 crore installs on the Google Play store, Phonepe Business has over 10 lakh installs. Google Pay for Business app by the time of filing this report had already crossed 1 lakh installs even as it has the two and soon to be launched WhatsApp payments app for customers to compete with.

“Engaging with customers is Google Pay’s secret sauce and so they will focus on diversifying in the new app as well and executing it well as people in the digital world value experience. While the opportunity pie is big enough for every player to co-exist but Google Pay and PhonePe are likely to lead the market ahead even as they have huge backing from their parent companies,” an industry expert told Financial Express Online.

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