Google is set to start offering loans to merchants in India through the Google Pay for Business app. The search giant said on Thursday that it is working with partner financial institutions to help small businesses in the country impacted due to the coronavirus outbreak. In addition to offering loans, Google announced a national rollout of ‘Nearby Stores' Spot on Google Pay to help businesses get discovered by customers in their locality. The feature was launched earlier this year in cities including Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Pune.
Without providing any further details, Google said in a statement that it is bringing the ability to offer loans through the Google Pay for Business app in the coming future. The app already has over 30 lakh merchants, the company said.
It is important to point out that Google back in August 2018 added the option to avail pre-approved loans for end consumers through Google Pay by partnering with Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and others. The company, however, at that time didn't make any similar revelations for merchants and small businesses using the payments platform.
Alongside the plans to offer merchant loans, Google in its fresh announcement mentioned the national rollout of the Nearby Stores Spot feature that was launched in April and expanded to 35 cities in May. The company has also allowed businesses to indicate their business hours as well as highlight whether social distancing measures are in place at their stores and essential items are in stock.
Further, Google Maps is getting promoted pins as a new feature through which businesses would be able to display their establishments as a square-shaped pin. These promoted pins are rolling out to smart campaign advertisers who have a Google My Business profile and will be fully available in the coming weeks. Google said that until the end of September, it wouldn't charge businesses for any clicks, calls, or sales resulting from the promoted pins feature.
Aside from Google, Amazon is also supporting merchants and small businesses in India in this tough time. The US e-commerce giant recently announced COVID-19 health insurance for its seller partners. In April, it also brought a ‘Local Shops on Amazon' programme to start allowing local shopkeepers in the country to sell goods through the online marketplace.
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