Google Pay, the UPI enabled payments service that Alphabet-owned Google runs in India, has reported financial numbers for the financial year 2018-19 to the country’s companies’ regulator. And by the looks of it, there has been a surge in the overall revenues for the company. The numbers came in via company’s recent filings with the RoC.
Google India Digital Services Private Limited, the company that runs Google’s payments business in India, reported revenues of $156 Million (~INR 1119 crores) for the year ending March 2019. Compared on a year to year basis, this marks a staggering 155% increase over previous year numbers. The company had reported $61 million in revenues for the financial year ending March 2018. The USD figures are on the basis of current exchange rates.
In terms of profits however, things haven’t looked that good. However, considering that profits for a digital payments setup in India aren’t something you see every day, Google Pay has still managed to sneak in close to $710K in profits for the year ending March 2019. This is slightly lower than the $760K that the company reported for the financial year ending March 2018. But if you look at it from a revenue picture, profit numbers need to improve.
In a statement that the company issued via its Directors’ report to the Registrar of Companies, it says, “We have noted the substantial progress of the Company and are hopeful of consistent performance. The outlook remains encouraging and it is
expected that positive trend will continue in furthering the growth of the Company.”
More recently, in September 2019, Google announced that it will focus on enterprises now, to power the next phase of growth for Google Pay. Clearly, individual UPI transactions in India, while on an all-time high, are mostly P2P in nature and thus do not result in any financial gain for UPI-based payment services. Hence, Google’s shift in focus.
In its annual ‘Google for India’ event, the company announced a slew of new features for small merchants and business owners. This included “Spot”, a platform that enables merchants to create branded commercial experiences that bridge the offline and online worlds. The likes of MakeMyTrip, Urban Company and others have already been onboarded as first users.
Then there is the dedicated enterprise app for small and medium businesses, called Google Pay for Business. The app, while encompassing everything that Google Pay offers, gives additional features like tracking of payments, billing cycle and and a rather hassle-free business verification process.
The company competes with the likes of Flipkart-owned PhonePe and BharatPe in India, the three of them together commanding a lion’s share of India’s lucrative UPI-enabled digital payments space. Both of them, like Google, have been finding newer verticals to earn revenues, as UPI payments continue to become an unsustainable business model.
PhonePe recently announced a new PhonePe ATM feature, letting customers get cash in exchange for sending money via UPI to verified merchants. The platform claims 540 million monthly transactions on its platform through more than 175 million users. BharatPe on the other hand, is getting into the lending business. The company recently raised $75 million in a Series C round to further expand its NBFC business as it applies for a license. The platform claims to have more than three million merchants across 30 cities and plans to grow that to around eight million by the end of March next year.