Google Pay receives suite of upgrades in India
At the company’s annual Google for India event, summarised in a blog post...
Google has announced a number of new Google Pay services coming to India.
At the company’s annual Google for India event, summarised in a blog post, a number of initiatives, across Google’s product line, were announced. Though generally region specific, the Indian market is one in which phones with Google’s Android OS are dominant, and has historically acted as a bellwether for developments that will later come to the rest of the world.
Some of the most eye-catching announcements were in the Google Pay sphere, the company’s digital wallet and payment system. The Indian version of Google Pay differs from that available in the rest of the world. Previously known as Tez, the mobile payments app relies on the Indian-specific Unified Payments Interface for the real-time sending and receiving of money, with the Indian government increasingly focusing on pushing digital payments. Google quoted figures suggesting digital payments in India had risen from 17mn in August 2017 to 900mn in August 2019. Google has played a large part in that growth, tripling its Google Pay user base in the last year to 67mn monthly users.
A specific challenge faced in the Indian region is the lack of near-field communication (NFC) technology in commonly used phones, something which most other digital payment offerings require. To get around this, Tez, later Google Pay, incorporated audio QR, which replicates the function of NFC with high frequency sounds (above the range of human hearing) transmitted between the devices of customers and merchants.
New initiatives include the Spot platform, allowing merchants to create digital storefronts accessible through the Google Pay app. Google Pay in India is also being brought in line with the rest of the world via ‘tokenized’ cards – the standard NFC paying experience wherein representations of cards can be added to Google Pay. Finally, and most intriguingly for a developing country such as India, a new app called Google Pay for Business is being released, allowing small enterprises to easily make themselves compatible with the Google Pay ecosystem for free.
“We hope these initiatives will help merchants adopt digital payments with more confidence and help contribute to the long term growth of online financial services for the benefit of every Indian,” said Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President, Next Billion Users Initiative and Payments on Google’s blog.
ServiceNow pumps millions into EU service compliance
ServiceNow, the digital workflow company, has announced a multimillion euro investment to help EU customers meet compliance requirements.
The legal, technical and organisational safeguards will help companies to comply with the the Schrems II judgment and European Data Protection Board (EDPB) Recommendations issued in June 2021.
ServiceNow’s investment means all EU-hosted data will be exclusively handled within the EU, and the cloud-hosted digital workflow provider claims its solution will come “without impact on current delivery and service”.
ServiceNow upgrade: free of charge
There will be no cost for current customers to opt in to the data compliance solution, even though ServiceNow is investing an unspecified multimillion euro sum and hiring more than 80 new staff across the bloc.
Mark Cockerill, vice president legal, EMEA and global head of privacy at ServiceNow, said: “With any regulation change, cloud services companies have a choice. They can adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach or get proactive and help customers and partners innovate. At ServiceNow we are on the front foot, continually investing in our customers, allowing them to operate with the highest level of choice and control over their EU data.
ServiceNow upgrade: ‘peace of mind’
“Our new EU-centric service delivery model will give our current customers and partners peace of mind. For customers and partners operating in highly regulated industries, or in the public sector, or those that have yet to make the switch to the cloud, this model gives them certainty and simplicity when selecting the cloud service that best suits their needs.”
Carla Arend, lead analyst, cloud in europe for IDC, said, “The Schrems II ruling has led European organizations to revisit their cloud-related data protection policies and processes when it comes to international data transfers through cloud services.
“Contractual, privacy, and security safeguards and the assurance that data will be kept and handled in the EU help European organizations to comply with European data protection laws while taking advantage of global cloud platforms. Vendors, such as ServiceNow, that invest to support their customers in response to this ruling are providing essential choice to their customers.”