Google has joined forced with gold bullion refiner MMTC-PA to let Google Pay users in India purchase and sell gold on the app, according to reports.
The service is already offered in the region through companies like Paytm, Mobikwik and PhonePe. MMTC-PAMP is India’s only LBMA accredited refinery, and through the partnership, users can buy 99.99 percent 24-karat gold.
"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 be it Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras or Diwali," Google Pay India Director Product Management Ambarish Kenghe said.
The gold bought by users will be stored in secure vaults by MMTC-PAMP. Gold can be bought or sold at the latest price, which is refreshed every few minutes on the Google Pay app. The gold announcement follows the Delhi High Court requesting that the Reserve Bank explain how Google Pay was handling financial transactions without authorization. The court also was in touch with RBI and Google India about the issue.
"Google Pay operates as a technology service provider to its partner banks, to allow for payments through the UPI (Unified Payments Interface) infrastructure, and is not part of payment processing or settlement. There is no requirement for licensing of these services under the prevailing statutory and regulatory provisions," a Google spokesperson said.
Google also said it was aware of data security and that it was serious about following the law.
"In order to support our partner banks, our efforts in complying with the government's data localisation norms are underway, and given the scale and complexity, we are being mindful to prioritise data security and uninterrupted services to our users as we make this transition. The central bank is apprised of the progress and we remain committed to complying with the laws of the land," the spokesperson said.