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Google chases businesses to maintain its payments lead in India

Google said today it is bringing its mobile payments app — Google Pay — to businesses in India and introducing a jobs discovery feature as the Android-maker rushes to maintain its lead in one of its key overseas markets before its global rival Facebook expands its payment offerings in the country.

At its annual event in India, the company said even as more than 400 million people in India are online today, most businesses in the nation remain unconnected. Through a Google Pay for Business standalone app, they will be able to quickly start accepting digital payments and build their digital business profile.

Additionally, Google announced Spot Platform that will allow businesses to create their own store fronts on Google Pay app itself. For instance, they can use QR-like codes to offer some offerings to customers without having to build their own apps, company executives said.

Google launched its payments app Google Pay (called Tez then) in 2017. Its payments service, built on top of Indian government-backed UPI payments infrastructure, is already among the top payment apps in the category.

But without any additional services, Google Pay would have had a tough time competing with Facebook’s WhatsApp, which is set to expand its mobile payments feature, also built on top of UPI, to all of its 400 million users in India. WhatsApp’s popularity remains unmatched in India.

The payments market in India — which is projected to be worth $1 trillion by 2023, according to a Credit Suisse — is aggressively crowded and competitive. Google today competes with Flipkart’s PhonePe, Amazon Pay, and Paytm, the country’s most popular mobile wallet app whose parent company has raised over $2.3 billion from investors.

Paytm is currently focusing on expanding its reach in the nation and not profits. The company, which posted more than half a billion of loss last year, said earlier this month it intends to invest another $3 billion into its business in the next two years.

The company is also bringing a feature that will enable users to discover jobs through Google Pay apps itself.