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Google gets into the international money transfer business, one-way out of the USA

India and Singapore are first destinations, teams with Western Union and Wise to target 200 nations

The verb “To Google” may soon have new meaning, as the ads-and-search giant has added the ability to “Google” money across borders with its Pay app.

The new offering is only for US-based users, for now, and allows the Pay app to hook into payment networks operated by Western Union and Wise.

Google hasn’t explained how the experience works for recipients. The Register will assume it doesn’t differ from Western Union’s options to have cash dispensed by an agent or deposited in a bank account, or Wise’s requirement to open an account. For Pay users, Western Union and Wise will appear as just another destination option.

The web giant says it’s added international payments to help users send money home during the pandemic.

Google’s announcement mentions that around $700bn a year flows around the world using such payments. But the announcement doesn’t say if Google will get a cut of the fees charged by Western Union and Wise. Even a sliver of a percent could make for a tasty new revenue source for Google.

For now, the service can only send cash to Singapore and India. But Google says that by year’s end Play users will be able to send cash to “more than 200 countries and territories through Western Union and to more than 80 countries through Wise.” ®

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