Now, Google Pay US users can transfer money to India
The latest feature upgrade to Google Pay has made it attractive for US users who send money abroad. The internet conglomerate's payments app now offers international money transfers. Google has tied up with established remittance providers such as Western Union and Wise to make it possible. As of this writing, the feature is available only for transfers to India and Singapore.
Google promises to add over 200 countries by year-end
Google is targeting first-generation immigrants and expatriates by prioritizing remittances to India and Singapore. It will extend the service to more regions, by adding 80 countries via Wise and 200 through Western Union by the end of the year. While Western Union is a market leader in the remittance space, London-based Wise debuted in 2011 to make international money transfers cheaper and easier.
Digital remittances will increase despite pandemic slowdowns
Google's push into remittances seems to come at an odd time. The global pandemic and resulting decline in global economies hosting migrant workers, such as the US, has caused remittances to decline by 14 percent compared to 2019 figures. That has forced users to prefer digital payments apps for remittances. Therefore, Google Pay's digital home turf stands to grow despite the pandemic.
Remittances won't have service fees for limited time
Google aims to lure users by making remittances through Western Union free and unlimited until June 16. Meanwhile, Wise is waiving off service fees on the first $500 worth of transfers. Google Pay is serious about expanding its portfolio by diversifying into the $470 billion global remittance market. This will allow Google's service to compete with PayPal, which has a stranglehold on digital remittances.
Google explains how pandemic favors digital remittances
"Even with COVID-19 a lot of people have relocated around the world and we wanted to focus on how we can help facilitate these payments," said Josh Woodward, director of product management at Google, while explaining how the pandemic favors digital remittances.
Google is serious about digital payments with sweeping improvements
In fact, Google Pay's foray into digital remittances isn't novel. Big players such as Samsung Pay and Ant Group's Alipay already offer similar solutions in addition to global market leaders in the space such as PayPal. Google revamping the app last year, adding paid promotions and opening a waitlist for bank accounts signal how the company is serious about digital payments.