Google has quietly added UPI support for Play Store purchases, reports XDA Developers. The option is currently available for Play Store v16.3.37, and some users have started spotting it on their devices, according to the report. We have reached to Google and will update this when we hear from them. Google already runs its own UPI payments app Google Pay; it had first announced UPI payments for Play Store in May during Google’s annual developers conference I/O 2019.
Google Play Store also supports payments via credit and debit cards, net banking, carrier billing, Google Play balance, gift cards and offline vouchers.
Google had also announced in May that it would allow users to make Play Store purchases using cash. Allowing users to pay with cash and via UPI is a major push by Google to increase Play Store revenues. While the Play Store sees more downloads than Apple’s App Store, it earns far less money. According to a Sensor Tower report, the Play Store generated $25 billion in revenues in 2018, while the App Store raked in $47 billion. Allowing users to pay in cash or through UPI could help bridge that gap as Android is hugely popular in developing countries, where cash still rules and access to digital payments is limited.
Google also plans to allow cash transaction on Play Store
Cash payment on the Play Store was already live in Japan and Mexico in May and was expected to be rolled out in other countries soon.
The company had then said that it would allow cash transactions on the Play Store through a payment method called ‘pending transactions’. According to Google, instead of a ‘Pay Now’ button, it would give a code which the user can take to the nearest Google-authorised store and pay using cash – or any payment method of their choice. According to Google. this feature was aimed at targeting those users who did not have access to other forms of payments such as credit or a debit card or even a bank account, and to those who are hesitant to give their banking details online.
Google had introduced carrier billing as a payment option for Airtel and Vodafone customers in 2017. Carrier billing allows users to pay for purchases with their mobile balance (prepaid customers or bill (postpaid customers). The Play Store, however, only allows postpaid customers to use the feature. In September 2015, the company had introduced physical Google Play Gift Cards in retail outlets across India. It marked the first time that users who didn’t have a credit or debit card, or access to digital payments, could buy items on the Play Store.
UPI transactions grew by 9% in July 2019
Google’s move to introduce UPI comes at a time when NPCI data showed that UPI recorded an increase of 9% in the total transaction volumes taking place between June 2019 and July 2019 however the amount transacted marginally declined between June and July 2019.
The number of transactions grew by 67.8 million in July, whereas the total amount transacted slightly went down by Rs 179.7 crores. In the previous month (June 2019), volume had increased by 21 million and the amount transacted had decreased by Rs 5,882.9 crores.