With the Google Pay app, US users can now make money transfers to India and Singapore thanks to integration with Wise and Western Union.
Google jumps into the massive remittance market.
The mobile payment service of the technology giant Google Pay announced on Tuesday that users in the US can now send money to India and Singapore.
The company has merged money transfer companies Wise and Western Union for this function and integrated their platforms into the Google Pay app. Users can choose between Wise and Western Union to transfer their money overseas. Google will do a small fraction of the cross-border transactions made through its app.
Google Pay launched a new version of its app in the US last year. This is a push for banking services as it has added checking accounts from lenders like Citi, as well as rewards and budgeting insights.
Google is one of many big tech companies digging deeper into the financial world. Apple launched its own credit card in 2019 in collaboration with Goldman Sachs. Facebook is taking a number of steps when it comes to digital currency and payments. In China, the Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial and Tencent have become outstanding players in the field of digital payments.
Still, these big tech companies have no obvious ambitions to become banks.
“We have no plans to become a bank or remittance provider,” said Josh Woodward, director of product management at Google Pay, in an interview with CNBC. “We’re working with the ecosystem that already exists to make these products.”
With the recent push for financial services from Google, Google will enter the huge money transfer market. The World Bank predicts that remittances to low- and middle-income countries were valued at $ 508 billion in 2020. That’s a 7% decrease from 2019, a decrease the bank attributed to the impact of the Covid pandemic on migration.
The news is a great asset to Wise. The London-based fintech company, formerly known as TransferWise, is increasingly selling its platform as a service to banks such as the French Groupe BPCE, the UK Monzo and the German N26. Western Union has recently been upgrading its digital strategy to fend off rising stars like Wise and WorldRemit.
In the future, Google wants to expand its remittance functionality to the 80 countries in which Wise operates, and eventually to the 200 countries that Western Union covers.