Having renamed its digital payments platform from Google Tez to Google Pay, the tech giant is now planning to use this platform to launch its ecommerce initiative and this could happen around Diwali. However, this news may not sound sweet to the other players like Amazon and Flipkart since they would have had their own aggressive drive during the peak shopping season and a strong competitor emerging could spoil the party a bit.
Google is working on a combination of online-offline offerings and apart from enlisting merchant establishments to be part of this campaign, Google is planning to offer loans to customers which can be repaid through EMIs.
Uber, BookMyShow and Big Bazaar are all part of this 2000-strong list of merchants signed up with Google Pay. For the loans, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra have come forward. Google will use the customers’ record on transactions using Tez as well as their bank accounts to determine how much they will be eligible to draw as loan and the amount will be directly credited to their bank accounts.
As reported in these columns earlier, Google had developed Tez with the Indian market in view, but it is now trying to rationalize its operations across many countries and a uniform nomenclature is being adopted integrating with Google Pay. Building on these moves to rope in the different business segments, Google’s could set up its own ecommerce site a la Amazon or Flipkart and then the fun could begin.
Though this announcement was not expected by many, Google had been working in the background, holding over 2000 workshops to identify sellers for its ecommerce foray. It is reported some 15,000 sellers have already been identified out of these workshops. It has also run a unique programme to include the rural buyers by recruiting 50,000 “Saathis” who would guide the guide the first-time online buyers till they become familiar.
Google has many advantages going for it. It has been servicing around 10 million SMEs in India through its Google My Business initiative. There are at least 55 million people using the Google Pay (Tez) app. All these will be leveraged by the company while going live and taking advantage of the growing ecommerce business in India. For the record, the ecommerce business in India, currently hovering around the $40 billion mark is likely to jump to $100 billion in a couple of years from now.