Google entering international remittances market: GPay will start offering cross-border transactions starting with the U.S, India, and Singapore

GPay International Monetary Remittances
Google Pay going international. Pic credit: pasja1000/Pixabay

Google Pay or GPay is entering the world of international remittances. The platform will challenge multiple entrenched players in the segment by tying up with Western Union and Wise.

Google has reportedly decided to expand the Google Pay platform. The search giant has indicated it will soon allow GPay users in the U.S. to send money internationally.

Google Pay taking on PayPal, Payoneer, and other international remittance enablers:

Google Pay is going after cross-border transactions. The platform was enabling micro digital transfers in local currency between individuals and commercial outlets till now.

Google will initially offer user-to-user (Customer to Customer or C2C) payments between the U.S., India, and Singapore. However, in the initial launch phase, this means that Google Pay users in the United States will be able to transfer money to GPay users in India and Singapore.

The transactions will not work in reverse. In other words, users in Singapore and India will not make international transfers to the users in the U.S. Also, businesses on GPay in the U.S. won’t be able to send money to individuals or businesses in India.

Speaking about the foray into the international money remittance market, Josh Woodward, Director of Product Management at Google said, “As we do with a number of Google products, we will test, learn, and iterate and then start scaling.”

Despite the one-way direction of payment in the launch phase, GPay has a lot of scope. India alone has received more than $80 billion in the year 2019, according to the World Bank.

Additionally, a report by Citi claims nearly 250 million people across the world send over $500 billion in cross-border remittances annually. Needless to mention, it is this market that Google wants to gradually enter.

Google has partnered with Western Union and TransferWise for GPay international monetary remittances:

For its international monetary remittance play, GPay will receive help from Western Union and Wise (formerly TransferWise). Google Pay app will soon integrate the two service providers within the GPay platform.

It is not clear if the remittances will be instant or, like other services, will take some time. However, users will be able to see the specific amount, assures Google.

Western Union has also confirmed that receivers will pay no charges. And users will get the exact value in their local currency as chosen by the sender in the U.S.

GPay transactions relying on Wise will be a little different. The service will charge the actual currency exchange rate along with transfer charges. In both cases, Google will not levy any additional fees to customers.

Google is increasingly making a foray into the formal banking services sector. The company recently started offering checking accounts feature from lenders such as Citi. Hence, international monetary remittances appear to be a natural progression.

GPay is one of the most popular services in India. With the local Government’s push for digital banking, individuals, companies, and even small-time retailers have adopted and accepted GPay remittances.

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