Google has unveiled international money transfer service with remittance firms Wise and Western Union for users of its US payment app.
Western Union and Wise have both integrated their services into Google pay. This partnership will enable Google pay users to transfer money to app customers in India and Singapore as the company prepares to expand their services to 80 countries connected to Wise and 200 connected to western Union by the end of the year.
When a user from US attempts to send money to someone in India or Singapore, they will be notified about the exact amount the recipient will receive. The app will also give users an option to select which payment provider either Wise or Western Union they wish to use and the duration it would take for the recipient to get their money.
According to Josh Woodward, Director of product management at Google, even with Covid a lot of people have relocated around the world and that Google wanted to focus on how to facilitate these payments. He added that their goal for this year is to work with wise and Western Union to roll out this for the countries they support.
As at the moment the remittance currently allows only Google US users to send money to those in India and Singapore and not the other way around. India and Singapore were chosen as they are crucial in the remittance world. For instance, in 2019, India was the leading remittance country receiving more than $ 80 billion in that year.US on the other hand is the greatest Sender, thus according to a report by the World Bank. Google has plans to extend the cross-border remittances worldwide and as at the moment cross-border payments are only available for person to person payments.
Wise formerly known as TransferWise is an international account to send money abroad and its available in over 60 countries and with over 10 million customers. In a statement Wise said it will charge the actual foreign rate exchange and additional transfer fees that will vary from country to country. But it will make the first transfer free for new customers on transfers upto $500.
Western Union is an American worldwide financial services and communications company. Its available in over 200 countries. The company said that receivers will not pay any charges and will receive the exact value in their local currency as chosen by the user in the US. The Covid 19 pandemic has led to an increase in online payments though generally there is a drop in overall remittances flows as the money migrants sent has declined upto 14 percent from 2019.This is occasioned by worsening economic conditions and employment levels in migrant-hosting countries as revealed by the World Bank.