Technology major Google is planning to offer loans to small and medium enterprises (SME) in India through its Google Pay for Business app later this year. The company said it is working with top financial lenders and the offering is expected to go live by year-end, which will help over 3 million merchants avail instant credit.
The Google My Business app launched in India in H2 of 2017 to help kirana stores and other small merchants bolster their online presence, has been used by more than 26 million businesses in the country to list themselves on Google search and Maps, the company said in a statement.
According to government estimates, India has about 60 million small and medium-sized businesses.
“Every month we drive over 150 million direct connections between these businesses and customers including calls, online reservations and direction requests,” company executives told Techcrunch.
Similar to the feature of instant consumer loans launched in 2018, credit will be given to merchants on a pre-approved basis, and partner lenders would be responsible for underwriting and collection, the Economic Times reported.
Google Pay’s consumer loan product is functional with banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank.
Google has recently announced to expand Business Messages in Maps and Search to support all kinds of businesses connect directly with their customers. Business Messages will also be available on mobile websites so that a business can add the ability for customers to quickly "Message" right from their website, Google said in a statement on Thursday.
Business Messages provides brands a comprehensive messaging solution across Android devices, and through Maps on iOS.
"MyGov, with partner Amplify.ai, is providing help and answering live questions from Indian citizens about hours, Covid-19 helplines, and ways to volunteer and donate, for more than 11,000 food and night shelters across India," said Google.
Last year, Google had rolled out the Spot feature in India which allows businesses to create their own commercial fronts that are directly accessible to customers through the Google Pay app, Techcrunch reported.