Google pay users can now transfer money from the US to India and Singapore. Partnering with Wise, Google is looking to expand its user base to 80 countries from 40 geographies. Similarly, it will expand operations in many more countries with Western Union by end of this year. Facing competition from PayPal and other such companies in the $470bn market, Google is trying to ramp up its digital sector.
India-based Cryptocurrency exchanges have stepped up hiring activity amid a 2x rise in registration. Coinbase, recently, hired a former Google Pay executive to lead India’s business. CoinDCX workforce count has reached 120 in March 2021 from 65 in Sept 2020. WazirX team, which was 35 in Dec, has now 110 people. CoinDCX, on avg is hiring 15 people per month and aims to have 200 employees by end of 2021. CoinSwitch Kuber added 90 people in six months.
Coinbase Global has appointed Pankaj Gupta as VP-engineering and site lead for its upcoming India development centre. The Silicon Valley-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange aims to acquire deep-tech startups for talent in India. Gupta, in the recent past, was leading Google Pay’s engineering team in the Asia Pacific, including India. His deeptech startup Halli Labs was acquired by Google. Coinbase ‘s India centre will work in blockchains, data engineering, and ML.
Google Pay’s Co-creator Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani have launched neobank in association with Federal Bank. Neobanks are virtual banks and do’s have any physical presence. Founded in 2019, Fi to date has raised $13.5 mn led by Sequoia India and Ribbit Capital. The fintech firm aims to have half a million users this year. India has around half a dozen neobanks including SBI’s YONO and Kotak Mahindra’s 811.
Google VP Caesar Sengupta is stepping down from his role, after spending 15-year at the search giant. April 30 will his last working day in the organisation, Sengupta informed in a LinkedIn blog post. He has played a key role in leading Google’s digital payments business in India. Sengupta was also behind the strategic investments and acquisitions into Jio Platforms, InMobi’s Glance, and Dunzo.
Google Pay’s next update, likely to be live in a week, will provide users options to decide how their digital payment activity can be used to personalise features within the app. Google will ask users to choose to turn the control on or off when they upgrade to the new version of the pay app. For example, if a user recharges a mobile phone, he/ she will have the choice to choose the activity that can be used to offer him/ her rewards and promotional offers.
WhatsApp Pay UPI transactions volume doubled in Dec as it processed 0.81 mn payments worth Rs 29.72 cr, an over 100% rise in both volume and value compared to Nov, as per NPCI data. PhonePe and Google Pay processed 902.03 mn and 854.49 mn transactions, respectively. PhonePe overtook Google Pay as the most-used UPI app in the month, facilitating transactions worth Rs 1.82 lakh cr, with a market share of 40%. Paytm processed 256.36 mn payments.
Google Pay has partnered with Pine Labs-owned Qwikcilver to make entry into the digital gift cards space. Qwikcilver’s consumer arm Woohoo, under the partnership, will list on Google Pay’s in-app store Spot. The two firms will also create exclusive offers and campaigns, and even look at introducing gifting solutions for the kirana economy and local SME. Qwikcilver currently works with over 250 merchants in India — Amazon, Flipkart, Bigbasket, MakeMyTrip, Shoppers Stop, PVR etc.
PhonePe, with 835 mn UPI transitions in Oct , has become the market leader in the digital payments. Google Pay hit 820 mn transitions, Paytm recorded about 245 mn, and Amazon Pay ended-up with 125 mn. This was the first time when Google pay didn’t drive the volume in UPI. PhonePe, in a statement, confirmed its leadership position with over 40% of the market share. It has been benefited from Flipkart’s festival sale and fantasy sports app Dream 11.