tech

Google to help SMEs avail loans via Google Pay

Google has also launched 'Grow with Google Small Business hub' in India that will serve as a single destination for all small businesses to get access to all the products and tools they need to go digital.

A logo of Google is seen at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland July 1, 2020.
A logo of Google is seen at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland July 1, 2020. (REUTERS)

Google India on Thursday said it will work with financial institutions to help merchants get loans via its Google Pay for Business offering.

This is part of Google's new products and initiatives for small enterprises to help them to recover and rebuild their business amid the COVID-19 pandemic by going digital.

"With over 3 million merchants now using Google Pay for Business app to accept and make payments digitally, Google Pay is also working (to) partner (with) financial institutions to surface their loan offerings for merchants, which can be availed right within Google Pay for Business app, something that is especially pertinent in these uncertain times," Google said in a statement.

It added that this offering will go "live soon".

Google has also launched 'Grow with Google Small Business hub' in India that will serve as a single destination for all small businesses to get access to all the products and tools they need to go digital, maintain business continuity and get access to helpful resources like quick help videos and support pages to learn digital skills, the statement said, adding that it will soon be made available in Hindi as well.

Besides, a new offering called 'promoted pins' on Google Maps will help businesses stand out.

Business owners can highlight specific services such as pickup and delivery, or other unique offerings to make shopping convenient.

"We've started rolling out promoted pins to smart campaign advertisers with a Google My Business profile and will be fully available in the coming weeks. Until the end of September 2020, businesses will not have to pay for any clicks, calls or sales resulting from promoted pins," it said.

Google said businesses of all sizes can now get its premium video meetings service 'Meet' for free. It will also offer professional-grade versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides available for free through September 30.

"We have consistently invested in programs and solutions to remove the barriers that come in the way of small and medium businesses benefiting from digital. And every month we drive over 150 million direct connections between these businesses and customers, including calls, online reservations and direction requests," Google Director India Customer Solutions Shalini Girish said.

However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have accelerated the need for many more businesses, especially small businesses, to adopt technology and get online to minimise the disruption and recover, Girish added.

"We recognise that recovery will come in different stages for different businesses and navigating the digital world can be a daunting experience for many. Under our Digital Unlocked program, we are proud to have supported over 1 million businesses and individuals to gain from our digital skilling program in India," she said, adding that the company will double down on this effort.