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Google To Start Offering Loans To SMEs In India, Updates Maps With Promoted Pins

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Google said on Thursday it intends to offer credit facilities in India through its Google Pay application. Google says the intention here is to help small businesses in India find it easier to carry out transactions even as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic take its toll on small businesses in a country of over a billion people.

Just what WhatsApp announced recently that it was doing in Brazil, Google is working with financial establishments to offer credits to vendors from inside Google Pay for Business application. There are now about 3 million merchants on Google Pay since it was launched last year in a number of countries.

But this is isn’t the first time Google will be playing directly in the Indian small and medium business space as it had launched an app called Google My Business in 2017 for the purpose of bringing more Indian businesses online. Since then, about 26 million businesses have listed on Google making it easier to search for them online and in other Google owned apps like Maps.

Google doesn’t offer much details as to how the loan application and disbursement processes would work. Neither do we know at this time how much a business would be allowed to apply for at a maximum. But we will learn more once the process itself is set to begin.

Facebook on the other hand has about one million merchants in its WhatsApp Business app but India is said to have about 60 million small businesses according to the government.

In addition to the loan offering within its Google Pay app, the internet giant also announced a national roll out of Nearby Stores Spot which it launched back in April and expanded to 35 cities in May. Businesses in India can now also indicate whether they have social distancing measures in place before customers arrive. They can also display items they have in stock as part of the new update to the feature.

Google Maps is now going to get promoted pins as well. Promoted pins allows businesses display their locations as a square-shaped pin. This is available to smart advertisers and while this will be available in the coming weeks, Google won’t charge for clicks and calls that come from the promotion until September when that’s likely to change.

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