Google will soon let users in India buy and sell gold through its payments app Google Pay, PTI reported. The company said on Thursday it had partnered with MMTC-PAMP India to allow users of the app to buy 99.99% pure gold. MMTC is a Indian government public sector trading enterprise, and PAMP is a Swiss company and bullion brand. MMTC-PAMP will store the gold in secure vaults on behalf of users, who will be able to sell it anytime at the price displayed in the app. Paytm, PhonePe and MobiKwik already offer variations of this service. Google’s announcement came a day after the Delhi High Court asked the Reserve Bank of India how Google Pay was operating in India without its approval.

Google Pay enters a crowded field

  • Paytm launched its wealth management service by offering gold to customers in partnership with MMTC-PAMP in April 2017. In March 2018, it launched Gold Savings and Gold Gifting. Gold Savings allows customers to regularly save in gold with no minimum amount.
  • PhonePe has partnerships with two gold firms: SafeGold to let users buy and sell gold through its app; and MMTC-PAMP. The company said it hoped to offer a choice in terms of the grade of gold (SafeGold offers 99.95% pure gold vs MMTC-PAMP’s 99.99%) as well as a choice of service providers.
  • MobiKwik partnered with SafeGold in October last year. Gold bought on SafeGold is added to the customer’s ‘MobiKwik Gold’ account and can be resold 24 hours after it has been purchased.
  • In addition, there are apps dedicated to the buying the selling of gold and other precious metals, such as Augmont and MetalPay.

Google Pay’s court troubles

On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court heard a petition that claimed Google Pay had violated the Payments and Settlements Act as it did not figure in the RBI’s list of authorised payment system operators released on March 29. The petition also raised privacy concerns, claiming that Google Pay “has un-monitored and unauthorised access” to personal information such as Aadhaar and PAN numbers, and details of people’s financial transactions. A Google spokesperson said in response that Google Pay “operates as a technology service provider to its partner banks, to allow for payments through the UPI infrastructure, and is not part of payment processing or settlement.”