Google Pay in India (formerly Tez) quickly grew in popularity and became almost synonymous with the Unified Payment Interface (UPI), the platform on which it is based.
Last September, the company announced plans to expand beyond UPI payments to support token cards, but nothing happened months after that initial advance. It appears that Google Pay India is finally adding credit and debit cards as a supported payment option, although it is not yet available to everyone.
Recently, a couple of Google Pay support pages were launched that allows users to take advantage of the new card payment option. Currently, only the Axis Bank SBI and credit/debit cards are supported. The first time you set up your card, you will need to go through a quick verification process that involves entering an OTP received from your bank. Once registered, you can use your phone to tap and pay at NFC-enabled terminals, scan Bharat QR codes, or make online payments that accept Google Pay.
Google notes that your confidential card details are kept to prevent your real information from being shared during transactions. These credentials are stored locally. This means that you will have to set up your cards every time you restart your phone or get a new one, a small price to pay to keep your bank account private and safe.
Some users saw the option to add cards almost a month ago, while our informant received it a day or two ago, indicating that the work is still in progress. So far only a subset of users have benefited from the feature, possibly as part of a server-side change. Therefore, getting the latest APK would not guarantee any of these changes. It is unclear if Google is testing before moving to a larger version or if the release is already slow.
Google Pay has already achieved great success in India with the UPI platform. However, to replicate that success in the card space, it is necessary to take advantage of the country’s large user base for debit cards, and the big banks were on board quickly, something Samsung Pay was able to do from the start.