With WhatsApp getting ready to launch UPI (Unified Payments Interface) based payments feature within the app, existing payment players are devising their own plans. Google is working on expanding the reach of its payments platform (Google Pay) in India and sources say that it will launch a new project through its partners using an SDK which will be rolled out later this year.
Google is going to introduce an in-app engagement rewards platform which should help developers and businesses to get better engagement on their apps. Called as Project Cruiser, the initiative has been led by Google’s Next Billion Users team, and has been under development since last year.
After successfully incorporating the feature into their apps, developers will be able to offer rewards to users to when they use the app. For instance, when a user places their first order, or when they invite their friends or family to use the app, and so on. In return, users will be able to earn a small amount of money. This is similar to the reward ‘scratch cards’ you get when you use Google Pay to make payments.
According to TechCrunch, a Google spokesperson declined to comment on the plans but said, “We’re always looking at ways to serve the next billion users better, but we have nothing to share at this point.”
Google recently announced that it will be expanding the payment methods available on Google Pay. As of now you can connect your bank accounts and make use of UPI, but soon support for debit cards and credit cards will be enabled.
It is noteworthy that the Delhi High Court had recently questioned the RBI regarding the legality of Google’s Pay operation in India. The question arised after a petition was filed against Google Pay for violation of Payment and Settlement Act.
Some petitioners have also raised privacy concerns, saying Google Pay has unmonitored and unauthorised access to personal information. To address the issue, Google has started rolling out options to disable certain features that may have compromised on privacy. These include allowing Google to share your creditworthiness with other companies, allowing the use of personal information by other companies owned by Google, and allow Google to inform third party merchants whose site or app you visit, and if you have a Google Pay account.