Google said it has partnered Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Ltd (APSFNL) to bring Google Station to over 12,000 villages, a move that will provide Internet access to about 10 million people.
The tech giant has also rebranded its ‘Tez’ as ‘Google Pay’ as part of its efforts to take the digital payments app to more online and retail merchants across the country.
“Building for India has helped Google build for everyone all around the world… Our partnership with RailTel is an example where millions of people are accessing the Internet from hundreds of railway stations in India.
“We have also taken Google Station to other countries like Indonesia, Nigeria, Thailand, and Mexico,” Google General Manager (Next Billion Users initiative and Payments) Caesar Sengupta said. Previously, Google had partnered RailTel to offer Wi-Fi access across 400 railway stations in the country.
“We have partnered APSFNL. We expect to start rolling out services by the end of the year with cities like Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, to connect gram panchayats, primary health care centers and other public places,” he said.
Talking about payments, Sengupta said Tez – which was built for the Indian market – has seen strong traction with 22 million people using the platform every month. Already, 750 million transactions have been made with USD 30 billion in the annual run rate of transaction value, he added.
Sengupta said the company is also adding more merchants online and offline onto its platform.
“Many governments (globally) have taken note and have asked us to collaborate. Keeping that in mind, we are compiling our payments under Google Pay. Everything with Tez remains the same,” he noted.