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Google Pay May Soon Let You Add Debit, Credit Cards for Contactless Card Payments

Google Pay is gradually rolling out the ability for users to add debit and credit cards to the payments app, moving beyond the UPI-only payment interface that the app offers.

Google Pay is reportedly adding more users to its trial of offering debit and credit card payments via the app. According to reports, Google is seemingly rolling out the feature to a larger user group, after announcing the tokenised debit and credit card feature back at the Google for India 2019 conference. The feature will allow you to add eligible debit and credit cards to your app profile, which you can use with an NFC equipped smartphone to make contactless card payments in India. However, despite reports of wider rollout, Google has refrained from commenting on the matter, only stating that the feature is being worked on.

While this suggests that a formal, all-users rollout is still some time away, progress appears to have been made. So far, Google Pay’s only payment option includes UPI IDs linked to banking accounts. Going forward, Google will integrate a feature to tokenise financial cards. Using this, you can register your eligible Wi-Fi card on the app, and validate its details. Once saved, you can then use it via your NFC-enabled smartphone, to simply tap and pay at NFC enabled point of sale (PoS) machines. According to reports, the slow rollout has only introduced support for a limited number of cards, and only VISA debit and credit cards from State Bank of India and Axis Bank have cards that are eligible for signing up on Google Pay.

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Google has, in prior occasions, stated that tokenised card payments can make card transactions over the internet more secure, and in turn, reduce the possible number of frauds and thefts that occur. The tokenisation system converts a supported credit or debit card into a digital token with a proprietary key, which is linked to a user’s smartphone and stored. Once the card is called upon for transaction, it only reveals this digital token key to the transacting URLs that lie in between making a payment. This ensures that a user’s credit or debit card details are not revealed to any website, and hence kept safe from any accidental breaches.

Google India has affirmed that it is working with all major issuers of credit and debit cards in India to roll out support for most debit and credit cards in the country. Given the volume of cards in India, a nationwide rollout is most likely going to take some more time, until we hear the news for ourselves.



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