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7 India-focussed Initiatives Announced By Google During Google For India Event Google launched Google Pay For Business to help small and medium-sized merchants adopt digital payments

By Shreya Ganguly

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Internet users in India is expected to reach 627 million in 2019, according to Kantar IMRB quoted by The Economic Times. In order to tap into the growing user base in India, search giant Google has been introducing slew of India-focussed features and services since 2018. The US company enlisted some more new India features during Google for India event today (September 19).

In an official blog post, Google announced the following features for India today:

Google Pay For Business: Google launched this new app to support for small businesses and is aimed at helping small and medium-sized merchants adopt digital payments. According to a report by Inc42, the app will make the process of onboarding easier via video KYC, and instant verifications using Google Duo.

Revamped Google Job Feature: Google announced a new revamped 'Jobs' feature. "Jobs will be available as a Spot on Google Pay to help job seekers find and prepare for entry-level positions that fit their needs," the blog noted. According to the company, the platform uses machine learning to recommend jobs and training content to help users prepare for interviews also help them learn new skills.

Skill India Program: Google has also joined hands with National Skills Development Corporation where students will be allowed to easily get started with Jobs and also find better employment.

Spot Platform: The platform will enable merchants to create branded commercial experiences and reach new customers. According to Google, brands such as UrbanClap, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, RedBus, Eat.Fit and Oven Story are already using the service through the early access programme.

Tokenized Cards: Google is making payments available to debit and credit card holders through "tokenized' cards. It is a secure way of paying via a digital token instead of using card number. "Tokenized cards on Google Pay will be rolling out in the next few weeks with Visa cards for HDFC, Axis, Kotak and Standard Chartered banks," the blog noted.

Google Research India: Google is looking to launch AI (artificial intelligence) lab in Bengaluru. The team in this lab will be focussing on two aspects: i) Advancing fundamental computer science and AI research by partnering with the research community across the country. ii) Applying the research to tackle big problems in fields such as healthcare, agriculture, and education and also use it to make apps and services, the blog noted.

Google's Previous India-Focused Initiatives

Bolo: Google had launched speech-based app Bolo last year to help children improve their reading skills. It has now also introduced regional languages including Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu to reach the children in rural areas. Prior to the launch, it had piloted the app across 200 villages in Uttar Pradesh. The app is powered by Google's speech recognition and it comes with a built-in reading tutor named as "Diya". The software is designed to encourage, explain and correct the children when they read out aloud, according to the company.

Google station: This feature was launched four years back in partnership with Railtel and Indian Railways to ensure WiFi at the railway stations. According to Google, it had secured the connections at 400 train stations as of last May.

Navlekha: Navlekha was launched last year to allow Indian users publish their content in regional languages.

Shreya Ganguly

Former Features Writer

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