Google Pay International Payment
Google Pay users in the U.S. can now send money to GPay users in India and Singapore, Google said on Tuesday, making its first push into the remittances market.
The company has partnered with Western Union and Wise, both of which have integrated their services into Google Pay. When Google Pay users in the U.S. attempt to send money to someone in India or Singapore, they will be informed about the exact amount that the recipient will receive. From within the Google Pay app, users also get to choose which payments provider — Wise or Western Union — they wish to use and how long it would take for the recipient to receive the money.
India was the largest receiving country for remittances in 2019, receiving more than $80 billion in the year, according to the World Bank. The U.S., meanwhile, is the largest sender. Eventually, Google intends to enable fully cross-border remittances worldwide.
The partnership with Google will help Wise and Western Union to expand their presence in several markets and more aggressively compete with rivals such as PayPal, which has a wider reach. Wise and Western Union will shoulder the liability and risk.
Nearly 250 million people across the world send over $500 billion in cross-border remittances annually, a report by Citi said last month. But the space is ripe for disruption. “The fees are extremely high. It is embarrassing that we have not solved this issue so far,” Citi analysts wrote. Global average cost for sending money is around 6.5%.
Western Union said in a statement that receivers will pay no charges and will get the exact value in their local currency as chosen by the user in the U.S. Wise said it will charge the actual foreign exchange rate and additional transfer fees, which will wary from country to country. (“The easiest way to find out how much it’ll cost is to find a friend on Google Pay, select Wise as a partner, tap Pay, and enter the amount you’d like to transfer,” it said.)
In either case, Google will not levy any additional fee to customers. Also, until June 16, Western Union will offer unlimited free transfers when sending money with Google Pay, and Wise will make the first transfer free for new customers on transfers up to $500.