According to the latest news, Alphabet Inc’s Google has launched international money transfer partnerships with remittances firms Wise and Western Union Co. Today, Google announced about this development for its U.S. users.
From now on, US residents will be able to transfer money to Google Pay customers in India and Singapore through Google Pay app. The company said, it is willing to expand this service to 80 countries that are available via Wise, and 200 countries available via Western Union. Google wishes to complete this expansion by the end of this this.
This marks Google’s entry in the $470 billion remittance market. It has gone a step further in financial services with the help of technology.
It is to be noted that London-based Wise was launched in 2011. The aim of the company was to make international money transfers cheaper and easier. On contrary, Western Union is simply the market leader of this business segment.
Google said, its Google Pay service has 150 million users in 40 countries. A major part of this market share came during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic lead to an increase in online payments. However, all this is coming at the time when the remittance flows have dropped significantly.
As per World Bank’s estimate, remittance flows declined almost 14% from 2019 onwards due to worsening of economic conditions and employment in migrant-hosting countries.
Josh Woodward, director of product management at Google said “Even with COVID a lot of people have relocated around the world and we wanted to focus on how we can help facilitate these payments. Our goal for this year is to work with Wise and Western Union to roll this out for the countries they support.”
Last year, in November, Google redesigned its U.S. payments app by introducing a couple of paid promotions to the service. It also opened a waitlist for bank accounts being launched next with several lenders.
Google is clearly going beyond the reach of not only finance companies but also technology companies with these new remittances functionalities. It seems, Google is trying to become a one stop shop for all financial needs of a user. It should be noted as of now, tech giants like Ant Group, Samsung Electronics Co, Apple Inc and PayPal Holdings Inc also offer cross border remittance.