Google Pay to launch SoundPod in India

Friday 23 February 2024 13:15 CET | News

Google has announced its plans to launch the SoundPod, its portable speaker developed to validate and announce successful payments instantly, to SMEs across India.

As per the information detailed by Google’s officials in a blog post, Google Pay initially launched in the region in September 2017 and, since then, it has been a collaborator in India’s journey to safe and secure digital payments. After introducing SoundPod, an audio device that supports merchants in tracking QR code payments with audio alerts when a payment is received, in a limited pilot in 2023, the company intends to bring the product to small and medium-sized enterprises over the upcoming months.

Google has announced its plans to launch the SoundPod, its portable speaker developed to validate and announce successful payments instantly, to SMEs across India.

SoundPod’s capabilities and Google Pay’s objective

Considering that the soundbox market witnessed a wide adoption rate across India, Google’s move comes to further support merchants in the process of receipt of remuneration and contest any illegitimate claims. After the trial, participating merchants provided Google Pay with positive feedback regarding SoundPod, underlining that it has the ability to minimise checkout time. With the launch, the company aims to improve SMEs' payment experience by making it more convenient and simplified. The launch comes as an addition to the suite of consumer and merchant offerings Google announced in October 2023, with the company planning to collaborate with its partners in the financial ecosystem to develop products that can address the credit gap in India.

Furthermore, the soundbox was designed to serve small and medium-sized Indian merchants that cannot afford regular point-of-sale devices, but do accept UPI payments. To further assist India’s payment ecosystem, Google Pay partnered with NPCI International Payments in January 2024, aiming to expand UPI internationally. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at that time underlined three main objectives, including broadening the use of UPI payments for travellers outside of India, assisting in creating UPI-like digital payment systems in other countries, and simplifying the process of remittances between regions.

The soundbox evolved into a subscription model due to various participants imposing subscription charges on merchants. However, the benefits of the soundbox revolve around providing insights into merchant behaviour, and facilitating the provision of loans based on this data, as stated by an industry participant for TechCrunch. Google Pay intends to provide the SoundPod product at a decreased cost, charging a one-time fee of USD 18 for one year, or a one-time fee of USD 0.06 per day for 25 days in a month. Additionally, the company plans to offer merchants who leverage SoundPod to process 400 payments in a month USD 1.5 in cash back.

Moreover, Google’s blog post underlines that the company aims to actively participate in India’s digital payments journey and continue to be invested in its growth and development for the long term.

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Keywords: product launch, SMEs, POS, payments , mobile payments, UPI
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Google
Countries: India
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce


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