US-based Google Pay users can now remit money to GPay users in the Indian subcontinent via the Google Pay app as the company forays into international payments.
The new feature comes with the tech giant’s integration with Western Union and Wise, which was formally known as TransferWise.
The latest move of kickstarting cross-border payments to India and Singapore is its first step in the attempt to expand this feature worldwide.
As part of the partnership, Western Union will power cross-border payments on Google Pay in over 200 countries while Wise will extend the support in over 80 countries.
The company picked India and Singapore because of how crucial they are in the remittances industry. India was the largest receiving country for remittances in 2019, receiving more than $80bn in the year, according to the World Bank – a figure that is only escalating every year.
Receivers will pay no charges and will get the exact value in their local currency as chosen by the user in the US. The Cupertino-based company will not impose any additional fee on customers. Wise will only charge the foreign exchange rate and additional transfer fees, which would vary from country to country. “The easiest way to find out how much it’ll cost is to find a friend on Google Pay, select Wise as a partner, tap Pay, and enter the amount you’d like to transfer,” it said in a statement.
Furthermore, Western Union will offer unlimited free transfers when sending money with Google Pay until June 16 and Wise will make the first transfer complimentary for new users on transfers up to $500.
Highlighting the importance of international remittances at a time when the pandemic continues to cause chaos, Western Union product and platform president Shelly Swanback said, “The pandemic continues to have a devastating impact on communities, customers and colleagues in many parts of Asia, especially in India and Latin America. This convenient channel will help people continue supporting one another in these trying times as they reimagine how they can pay and move money worldwide.”
This also comes months after Google redesigned the GPay app in the US and made a push into banking services with checking accounts feature from lenders such as Citi.
Commenting on the new move, Google Pay director of product management Josh Woodward said, “Cross-border payments are not just a lifeline for loved ones; they form the financial backbone for many economies.
“For many people with families abroad, sending money home is something they do as frequently as every month. By teaming up with Western Union, we are providing a way for Google Pay users to send money quickly, safely, and reliably from the Google Pay app.”
Google Pay adding cross-border transactions follows a trend where tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Uber and Facebook have been launching different financial services over the past few years proving that the sector is ripe for incumbents as well as startups.
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