Google to 'surface' friendly banks' business loans through Pay app

To help Indian small businesses cope with COVID crunch

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Google's Indian outpost will soon help small businesses to find loans.

The service will be tied to the text ad giant's "Pay" app but won't put Google's money on the line.

Instead, according to a Thursday post from Google India, the Pay app's merchant-facing incarnation will be tweaked so that "our partner financial institutions" can "surface their loan offerings for merchants, which can be availed right within Google Pay for Business app".

"We will make this offering live soon," wrote Indian Googlers Shalini Girish and Sajith Sivanandan.

Google Pay is available to more than 150 Indian banks that participate in the nation's Unified Payments Interface mobile money scheme. The Register has asked Google to name the partners, whether it stands to benefit from the loans in any way and if it has previously lent the Pay app to similar purposes.

News of the loans was tucked into a post noting Google India's various other efforts to support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Among those is a new Google Maps feature called "Promoted Pins", which means "business owners can also highlight specific services such as pickup and delivery, or other unique offerings to make shopping convenient". But only if they have a Google My Business profile and use Google's Smart Campaign advertising service.

Users of Promoted Pins won't be charged for any traffic they generate until September 2020. After which Google will presumably be ready to help them arrange a loan to pay for the service. ®

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