Over the last two years, digital payment companies Paytm, PhonePe, and MobiKwik have let customers invest in digital gold. Google Pay may be late to the party, but it's hoping to catch up soon.Tarush Bhalla
Google Pay, Google’s mobile payment app, is one of the newest payment players to join the digital gold rush. It will now allow users to buy and sell digital gold on its platform, in a partnership with MMTC-PAMP.
Through this partnership, users can buy 99.99 percent 24 karat gold, from the app. The gold, purchased for any value, will be stored on behalf of the user, by MMTC-PAMP, in secure vaults, and can be sold at any time at the latest price on Google Pay, the company said on its official blog.
Ambarish Kenghe, Director, Product Management, Google Pay, India, said in the blogpost:
“Gold is core to Indian culture and tradition, making India the world’s second largest consumer of gold. Indians buy gold to mark auspicious occasions each year. To make Google Pay even more useful, you can now buy and sell gold, securely from your phone, right within Google Pay!”
Google Pay isn’t the first payment platform to introduce a gold offering on its platform. In the past payment platforms, including Paytm, PhonePe and MobiKwik, have offered digital gold. Paytm led the pack by launching digital gold in 2017, while PhonePe and MobiKwik introduced it in January 2018 and October 2018 respectively.
According to Google Pay, the digital gold feature is created for millions of Indians who buy gold especially during festivals like Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras, or Diwali.
Last Diwali, Paytm, which was first to board the digital gold bus, stated that until then it had seen more than 2 tonnes (2,000 kilograms) of gold transacted on its platform. It also stated that the number of Paytm Gold buyers grew to 10 million, with two-third of the adoption coming from Tier II and III cities.
PhonePe said their platform saw a 400 percent growth in gold purchase value during last Dhanteras, as compared to other days. Karthik Raghupathy, Head of Strategy and Planning, PhonePe, added that the platform saw more than 3.5 million unique visitors during Dhanteras.
MobiKwik, which went live with its digital gold offering only in October 2018, garnered more than 7,000 customers during Dhanteras, in November 2018.