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Google Wallet to launch in India: What is it and how will it be different from Google Pay

Google Wallet is poised to enter India, as hints emerge from its Play Store listing. With local integrations and potential coexistence with Google Pay, digital payments may see a significant shift.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
Updated on: Apr 17 2024, 14:58 IST
Google Wallet may soon debut in India, offering local integrations for contactless payments, hint reports. (Google)

A recent report suggests that Google Wallet might soon debut in India, boasting local integrations tailored to the Indian market. The tech giant discreetly unveiled the Google Wallet app on the Play Store, showcasing features aligned with Indian banks, airlines, and loyalty programs. Although currently inaccessible for direct download in India via the Play Store, users can install the app manually and link bank cards for seamless contactless transactions. Speculations hint that the app will operate alongside Google Pay, catering to the needs of Indian users.

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Local Integrations Raise Eyebrows

TechCrunch first noticed the appearance of the Google Wallet app on the Play Store, featuring integrations with prominent Indian entities such as SBI, Air India, and PVR Inox. However, Google swiftly replaced these images with ones tailored to the US market upon being approached by the publication. Nonetheless, a cached version of the Play Store listing reveals four screenshots specifically targeting the Indian audience.

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Uncertainty Looms Over Future Integration

While Google refrained from confirming the imminent launch of the Wallet app in India, it expressed commitment to enhancing the Google Pay experience, ensuring convenient and secure access to digital payments. This hints at the potential coexistence of Google Wallet alongside the UPI-powered Google Pay, adding to the competitive landscape of digital payment platforms in India, which includes incumbents like Paytm, PhonePe, BHIM, and Amazon Pay.

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Although, we have verified that the Google Wallet app isn't directly downloadable from the Play Store but can be installed by sideloading the latest APK file onto Android devices. Presently, users can only link credit or debit cards for contactless transactions, while the teased loyalty points system remains inactive. Despite its limited functionalities compared to Google Pay, which supports both contactless payments (for NFC-enabled smartphones) and UPI transactions, the potential for Google Wallet's full-fledged launch in India raises questions about a potential integration or coexistence strategy with Google Pay, a strategy the company has implemented in other markets.

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First Published Date: 17 Apr, 14:57 IST

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