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Amid Paytm Payments Bank crisis, Google announces expansion of Soundpods across India

The development comes at a time when RBI has ordered Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL) to stop accepting any money after March 15 for transactions.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 23:19 IST

New Delhi: Fintech firm Google Pay Thursday announced the expansion of soundpods for merchants across India to be executed over the next few months.

The company introduced Soundpods last year in India on a limited pilot scale. Like Paytm's soundbox, Google Pay (GPay) soundpod is an audio notification service provided through a speaker device that alerts merchants after QR code payments.

"Last year, we introduced our SoundPod product in a limited pilot - an audio device that helps merchants track QR code payments with audio alerts when a payment is received. Participating merchants have shared positive feedback, noting it reduces checkout time. We're pleased to announce SoundPods will be available for small merchants across India over the coming months," Ambarish Lenge, Google Pay vice president for product, said in a blog post.

The development comes at a time when RBI has ordered Paytm Payments Bank Limited (PPBL) to stop accepting any money after March 15 for transactions.

The RBI in the list of FAQs has clarified that Paytm QR code, Paytm Soundbox or Paytm POS terminal will continue to work after March 15 only if linked to other banks instead of PPBL.

In December 2023 quarter, Paytm had reported merchant paying subscription for devices has reached 1.06 crore which is an increase of 49 lakh on the year-over-year basis.

While Paytm is working to fix the issue around merchant's transactions including virtual payment address settings for accepting payments, GPay has announced plans to expand soundbox service across the country.

"This is in addition to the slate of consumer and merchant offerings we announced in October 2023 to expand the availability of responsible credit in India - a mission that we're well on our way towards with encouraging momentum," Kenghe said.

He said UPI's seamless interoperability between all elements of the financial system has redefined possibilities not just for India, but equally for the world.

GPay is the second largest UPI app in the country after PhonePe.

It facilitated 444.28 crore transactions worth Rs 6,35,945.58 crore in January 2024.

PPBL trailed GPay both in terms of transaction volume and value in January 2024.

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(Published 22 February 2024, 23:19 IST)

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