Google Pay - Money Made Simple

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Do you want a single platform for managing UPI money transfer, phone recharge, QR code payments, bill payments, and other cashless transactions? Your search ends with Google Pay. A robust platform that enables you to go cashless, Google Pay has established itself as one of the top names in the digital payments segment. Bank transfers, sending and receiving money, online shopping, and several other services have become as easy as cracking an egg with Google Pay.

Millions of Indians now rely on this Google offering for all their payment-related needs. And the number continues to increase with each passing day. StartupTalky covers the Google Pay success story in this post. So, dive into it below:

Google Pay - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Google Pay
  • Headquarters-Google, US
  • Sector-Fintech
  • Founders-Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani
  • Founded-September 11, 2015, and then renewed on January 8, 2018

Google Pay - About

Google Pay, often referred as G Pay is founded on May 26, 2011. Starting initially as Google Wallet, the digital payments platform has changed its name to Android Pay later on September 11, 2015. The app was then launched as Tez before finally settling on the name Google Pay on August 28, 2018.  

Google Pay serves as a digital wallet-cum-online payment system developed by Google. The Google-powered digital payments platform enables the users to make contactless payments and purchases online via android phones, watches and tablets. iOS is another platform that supports G Pay for the users of India and the United States but with some restrictions. Google Pay works with Android Lollipop 5.0 and above.

The second most popular UPI platform in India helps the users to pay other merchants and individual users via the Tez mode, using QR codes, and through phone numbers.

The app is currently available for the users of 42 countries, as of 2021.  

Google Pay - Startup Story

Google Pay was originally developed as Android Pay and was first released at Google I/O in 2015. This application was primarily modeled on Google Wallet that was released back in 2011. The technology of Android Pay was influenced by Softcard's technology. Google then launched the payments app, Tez on September 18, 2017, pivoting the UPI system. Tez was later rebranded to Google Pay on August 28, 2018.

According to Sujith Narayanan, the Co-founder of Google Pay, it was while working on Google Tez (another offering by Google), he and his team realized that a consumer's financial journey extends beyond digital payments. Moreover, there was a need to concentrate on the millennials in India and give them a new, fast and efficient way to handle their finances.

The founding duo finally decided on a product called 'Google Pay', which would redefine financial services for the millennials. Google Tez, a mobile payment service by Google that targeted users in India, laid the framework for Google Pay. Think of Google Pay as a superior version of Google Tez coupled with a plethora of offerings.

Google Pay - Founders And Team

Sujith Narayanan and Sumit Gwalani are the brains behind Google Pay.

Sujith Narayanan

Sujith Narayanan is the co-creator of Google Tez along with Sumit. Sujith is a veteran payments executive and has an enviable experience in the domain of financial services. He is also known as the co-founder of the neo-banking startup EpiFi. Sujith is an alumnus of the University of Calibut and Mahatma Gandhi University. Starting his career with Standard Chartered Bank, Sujith eventually resigned after 7 years as a National Sales Manager of the organization. He then joined Religare Macquarie Private Wealth as the Vice-President - Marketing and Channel Development before moving on to join Google.

Sumit Gwalani

Along with co-founding G Pay, Sumit Gwalani played an instrumental role alongside Sujith in starting EpiFi. He handled Google Tez's operations in India. Sumit spent 12+ years at Google where he donned multiple hats. Sumit was a Research Assistant at the University of Columbia, Santa Barbara, before joining Trlokom as a Software Architect and eventually joining Google. Gwalani was a Computer Engineering student at the University of Mumbai from where he completed his Btech degree before pursuing a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Santa Barbara.  

Google Pay - Name, Tagline And Logo

Google Pay is styled as G Pay. The logo of G Pay is cleverly crafted with the Google logo on one side and "Pay" on the other.

Google Pay's tagline is "Money made simple". A meaningful and interesting tagline, isn't it? With Google Pay, handling money has become easier than ever.

Google Pay - Business and Revenue Model

Google Pay does not charge its users for their access to Google Wallet. GPay allows its users to send money to bank accounts directly and for free. Previously, the company had an agenda of adding a 2.9% fee upon topping up wallets via debit card, which has been taken off.

Being a digital payments platform, Google Pay mainly collects its revenues via transaction-based fees that it collects from the online and in-app payments of the banks and merchants. Advertisements and product offers within the Google Pay app are some other revenue streams of the company. It also earns considerably by using the users' data that it collects.

In 2017 Google Pay had earlier witnessed a growth of its monthly active users, which was recorded at 67 million. The same has presently estimated at 150 million, as of 2021.

The app has enabled more than 2.5 billion transactions and currently has got a running rate of US $110+ billion in transaction value. Moreover, it is also important to note that now Google Pay also gives the users the privilege of paying over 200,000 stores that are based in more than 3500 cities and towns, and to 2700+ online merchants.

Google Pay - Challenges Faced

With the backing from Google, one of the largest organizations in the world, Google Pay wasn't subjected to the problems that small-scale businesses and startups face while starting out. Neither was there any dearth of resources. Though not exactly a challenge, a technical glitch on Google Pay's app in 2020 did become a trending topic for some time.

Several users reported the app saying that their bank accounts were removed from Google Pay without any notice. Complaints on the matter were frequently posted on social media platforms. However, the issue did not bring about any serious consequences. The Google Pay team suggested that it might have been an unintentional action on the users' part that delinked the app and bank accounts. A fix was implemented by the team and the situation was restored to normalcy. Google India issued a statement when it was asked by NDTV Gadgets 360 regarding the glitch.

Ambarish Kenghe, the Director of Product Management at Google Pay said, "We are aware that some users faced difficulties with linking their bank accounts on Google Pay today. The issue, impacting a small number of users, was identified earlier today and our teams have worked to resolve it and have implemented a fix within the hour. The issue stands resolved and users will now be able to use the app normally. Users facing any issue should reach out to Google Pay support through our app. We regret the inconvenience caused and are committed to providing our users a seamless payments experience."

Google Pay - Growth

In the year 2018-19, there was a lot of traction with the payment products. The team launched a few new features successfully and also revamped the payment products globally. Google Pay specially focused on partnerships, ecosystem approaches as it forged deep relationships with central bank and government to build innovative products collectively. This made the products work together within the ecosystem.

GooglePay currently retains 35% market share in terms of volume and 38% of the shares in terms of values, as of October 2021. The payments gateway has last recorded 129 crore transactions, which amounted to Rs 2.50 lakh crore. Some growth highlights of Google Pay are as follows:

  • Google's digital payment platform Google Pay hit 67 million monthly active users in just 2 years since it made its debut in India
  • Google Pay had contributed 59% in digital transactions in 2019
  • Google Pay is the second most popular UPI platform after PhonePe

Google Pay - Partnerships

Google Pay has partnered with numerous organizations around the world to date. Here are some of the most prominent partnerships seen by G Pay:

  • GPay has announced of its collaboration with SBI General Insurance, which would help the GooglePay users to purchase SBI's Genearl Insurance plan directly via the app on October 29, 2021
  • The digital payments giant has partnered with Visa on September 21, 2020 to help the Visa card users to tap-to-pay, thereby securing all the transactions made via the app
  • G Pay partnered with 90 banking institutions from 9 nations on September 20, 2021
  • Google Pay is firmly partnered with India's financial ecosystem, said the internet major on September 3, 2021
  • G Pay partnered with Leumi, an Israel-based bank to enable the bank's users to use the Google pay digital wallet on September 2, 2021

Google Pay - Competitors

Google Pay's top competitors are Amazon Pay, PhonePe, Paytm, and Stripe.

Amazon Pay is a platform for digital transactions. It is similar to Google Pay in terms of functionality and features

PhonePe is popularly known as India's leading payments app. It allows people to use BHIM, UPI, credit card, and debit cards to recharge phones and make payments

Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system. Paytm offers multiple services through its ecosystem; some of them are e-wallets, bill payments, phone recharges, and an online shopping store (in the form of Paytm Mall). It is headquartered in Noida, India.

Stripe simplifies the process of online payments.

Google Pay - Future Plans

Google Pay is always planning something new and unique for its users. The company has announced that it would be transforming its app into a personal finance hub for the users. This would further simplify the payment of funds to friends and family.

Google Pay - FAQs

Is Google Pay an Indian app?

Google Pay is based out of the Google headquarters in California, US. However, the payments app of Google is available for the Indian users and those who resides in Singapore and the US. Google India Digital Services Private Limited, headquartered in New Delhi, makes G Pay accessible for the Indian users.

Who is the owner of Google Pay?

Google Pay is owned by Google Inc.

Can I transfer funds directly to bank accounts via Google Pay?

Yes, Google Pay allows its users to link their bank accounts and transfer funds directly to others' bank accounts.

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