Mobile Applications

Google Tweaks India Payments App Privacy Policy

After charges that Google’s Indian mobile payment app allowed for the disclosure of customer data for advertising, the internet giant changed the privacy policy portion of its mobile payment application.

Reuters reported that Paytm, the rival digital payments company, complained that the mobile payment app enabled access to customer data for advertising and other things at a time when protecting customers’ privacy is paramount. In a letter to the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), Paytm said that Google Pay’s privacy policy is a “clear disregard for a consumer’s need for privacy.” Paytm took issue with the privacy policy, which said the internet giant could “collect, store, use and/or disclose” personal data and “any communications made through Google Pay,” reported Reuters. A review of that privacy policy, which was updated last week, showed that Google eliminated the word “disclose.”

In a statement, Google said the changes make it easier for customers to understand how the company uses and monetizes on data, but declined to comment on whether Paytm prompted them to make the change. “These changes are done from time to time, and are based on product features and development,” a company spokesman told Reuters.

Cash continues to command the loyalties of consumers in India. However, as demonstrated this summer, the country is not only embracing digital payments, but is increasingly attracting competition from some of the biggest players in the industry. India has too many consumers who are in the middle class or moving into it, among other factors that present an opportunity for eCommerce and digital payment providers from around the world.

India is expected to have a digital payment market worth $1 trillion by 2023, a figure that represents “fivefold” growth from now, according to an estimate. One of the most recent developments underscoring that point came from Google. The company is rebranding Tez, its digital payment app designed for the Indian market, to Google Pay, which already operates in 20 countries. Google also said it was working with India-based financial institutions (FIs) — Federal Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank — for an “instant loan” offering via the digital payment app.



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