Google Play Adds Support for Cash Payments, UPI Integration Coming to India Soon

Google has revealed that it will soon be adding support for Unified Payments Interface (UPI) as a new payment method in Google Play for the Indian users. The company has also announced that it is adding cash as payment method for Google Play balance top-ups and will soon be bringing it for in-app purchases as well. This will open a whole new class of consumers to the Google Play developers. There is no word on when the cash support will be available for other transactions in the Google Play store, including new app or game purchases.

At the ongoing Google I/O 2019 developer conference, Google stated that the Google Play users in India will soon have a new payment method to choose from. The company is working to allow Android users in the country to pay for apps using UPI, a payments framework developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

“In India, we are in the process of rolling out Unified Payments Interface, one of the most popular digital payments platforms in India,” said Google’s Larry Yang.

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Google didn’t offer an exact timeline of when we can expect to see UPI support in Google Play, but it shouldn’t take long. The company will most likely integrate Google Pay (Tez) in the Play Store.

Google Play in India currently supports credit/ debit cards, netbanking, carrier billing (via Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone), and Google Play balance/ Google Play gift cards.

Another interesting titbit that Google dropped at the developer conference was support for cash for select Google Play transactions. The company revealed that Google Play users in Japan and Mexico can now use cash to top up their Google Play balance by going to a convenience store. The Mountain View, California-based company is also expanding the support for cash for in-app purchases.

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Google Play cash support store screenshot Google Play Cash Support

Google Play users will have to visit convenience stores to make cash payments

Part of the company’s new “pending transactions” move, cash support will allow the Google Play developers to target a totally new segment of consumers, who either don’t have access to other forms of payments, or simply don’t want to use them online.

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“We know that emerging markets are a key area of growth for you all [developers], which is why are excited to announce pending transactions,” said Aurash Mabod, Director of Engineering at Google, at I/O 2019. “This is a new class of delayed form of payment like cash, bank transfer, and direct debit.”

Similar to topping up Google Play balance, the consumers will have to visit a nearby convenience store to pay cash for their in-app purchases. They will be given a code, which will be shared with the store, and then the consumers can pay in cash.

The company did not share when it is planning to expand cash support to other markets.

While recapping the past one year for Google Play billing, Google stated that the developers in 120 countries can now sell on Google Play and it has expanded the support for eWallets to over a dozen markets. Additionally, the company now has ties with over 170 carriers around the world for Google Play billing.