Google signs deal with four banks to get digital up and ready in India
India is a $1 trillion digital finance market in waiting – so it’s no surprise that Silicon Valley heavyweight Google has entered the fray. The company is known for its eponymous search engine, but it has always had its fingers in many pies. Today, restructured and renamed as Alphabet Inc. (Today’s Google is, technically, a subsidiary of yesterday’s Google) that’s even truer than it used to be. And now, Alphabet is pushing it further: partnering with four Indian banks to grant consumers loans online.
Alphabet’s share price has risen by 18% so far this year
SOURCE: Yahoo Finance
Alphabet is by no means the only runner in this race. Chinese billionaire Jack Ma, best known as the founder and CEO of Alibaba, is pursuing the Indian digital finance market through Ant Financial, and Facebook is also an interested party.
Alphabet has signed partnerships with HDFC Bank Ltd., ICICI Bank Ltd., Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd., and Federal Bank Ltd. It will offer eager borrowers access to instant, pre-approved loans “right within Google Pay in a matter of seconds,” according to a statement.
While the competition is fierce, Google is in a good position to capitalise in India. Google Pay is a huge success in the country, having been downloaded by more than 55 million people in over 300,000 towns and villages. This is a fast-growing market. Worth $200 billion today, Credit Suisse Group AG forecasts that it will hit the $1 trillion mark by 2023.
And, of course, what happens in India doesn’t necessarily stay in India. The country has become a focal point for Big Tech, which is looking to get its next billion people online. But the innovations that are created in that playground could well become ubiquitous. As Google’s vice president of its Next Billion Users initiative and Payments, Caesar Sengupta, recently commented: “We’ve learned that when we build for India, we build for the world.”
Dominion holds Alphabet in its Global Trends Managed Fund.
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