Google is gearing up to develop a website in India, dubbed Bharat Saves, offering consumers information on financial planning.
According to a report by The Economic Times, Google wants the Bharat Saves website aligned with the government’s financial inclusion scheme, Jan Dhan Yojana. Since it launched in 2014, it has seen new bank accounts opened and has deposits of RS 41,000 crore.
A senior finance ministry official told Economic Times off the record that Google is currently talking to the Indian government, and its proposal is being looked at. The website could provide a range of financial literacy tools and information on financial products.
“In line with the prime minister’s vision to create greater financial inclusion … various BFSI organizations and industry associations are coming together to launch a digital platform,” a Google spokesperson said in the report. A financial literacy awareness campaign may be part of the launch of the website. Google also plans to launch an app.
The report noted that, in the first leg of the launch, users of the website will have to log into either the site or the app and go through financial literacy modules. They will also need to take a financial literacy test. Once they pass these tests, it will open up other areas of the website or app, enabling them to see, compare and purchase banking and insurance products. Over the long run, more financial products will be included on the website and app. The website and app are targeted at homemakers, small business owners, people who have just started working and retirees in India.
The move on the part of Google comes as India has been courting technology companies to get them to participate more robustly in its Digital India program. Apple, for example, has been talking to the government about making Apple Pay part of the government’s financial inclusion programs.