May 23, 2024
Google Wallet is now available in India


On Wednesday, Google launched its digital wallet in India with local integrations, nearly two years after the app was relaunched as a digital wallet platform in the U.S.

As TechCrunch exclusively reported last month, Google Wallet will operate in India alongside the existing Google Pay app, which will remain the company’s payments app in the country. Google had replaced its Pay app with Wallet in the U.S. in February.

“Google Pay is not going anywhere. Google Pay is our primary payments use case,” Ram Papatla, general manager and India engineering lead for Android at Google, said at a press conference in New Delhi. “Wallet is specifically tailored for thinking about the non-payment use cases.”

Google Wallet will let Android users in India store and access their boarding passes, gift cards, event tickets, and loyalty passes. You can add all of this through a QR code, barcode or link shared through Gmail, or by using a dedicated Add to Google Wallet button available on partner apps.

The app will also store transit tickets and let you create passes from any images containing a barcode or QR code, such as airline boarding passes, luggage tags or parking receipts.

Initially, Google Wallet will work with 20 brands, including PVR Inox, Flipkart, Air India, MakeMyTrip, Pine Labs and Ixigo. It has also onboarded local transport operators such as Kochi Metro, Hyderabad Metro, VRL Travels and AbhiBus. Additionally, the company has partnered with system integrators Wavelynx and Alert Enterprise to let users store and access their corporate badges.

Android continues to dominate the smartphone market in India, with a 93% market share, per latest Counterpoint data shared with TechCrunch. In 2023, out of the 152 million smartphones shipped in the country, 140 million ran Android. Smartphone penetration rate for the year was 70%, up from 66% in 2021, the market research firm said.

All this gives Google a solid reason to launch Wallet in India. However, it would face competition from Samsung Wallet, which the South Korean company offers as a one-stop digital wallet and payments app. Apple also has its Wallet app for iPhone users in the country, though that app doesn’t have many local integrations. Instant messaging app WhatsApp also provides the ability to get virtual boarding passes and transit tickets from platforms like MakeMyTrip and state metro train operators.



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