Google Pay gains international money transfer support at last

Google Pay gains international money transfer support at last
Launched all the way back in 2015 as Android Pay on the underlying technology of Google Wallet and rebranded as Google Pay a little over three years ago, the search giant's Apple Pay-rivaling digital wallet platform has been slowly but steadily expanding to more and more places around the world and more and more US banks in the last 12 months or so.

At the same time, the official Google Pay app has received a major redesign that the company really wants its users to embrace as soon as possible, and on top of it all, the mobile payment service is now getting a huge new feature everyone with family abroad will undoubtedly appreciate.

Yes, ladies and gents, international money transfers are a thing starting today, at least for folks in the US looking to send funds to fellow Google Pay users in India and Singapore. Those are the only countries supported right off the bat, which is far from impressive, but Big G aims to expand the functionality to "more than 200 countries and territories" with Western Union's help and "more than 80 countries" through Wise (all for US users only) by the end of 2021 alone.

Both Western Union and Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) are integrated for sending money from the US to India and Singapore, and the involvement of the two financial services giants suggests Google might in fact be serious about those aforementioned global launch plans.

Of course, international money transfers are not exactly a groundbreaking feature for a digital wallet platform, having been supported on Samsung Pay since 2019. Samsung's Google Pay alternative made it possible to send funds from the US to nearly 50 countries right from the start, which means Google still has plenty of catching up to do.

On the bright side, Western Union is offering unlimited free transfers through Google Pay until June 16, with Wise waiving its own standard fee for a single transfer of no more than $500 per "new" customer. That being said, it's unclear if the fees and things like exchange rates will make this service competitive against other such products developed by individual banks and financial companies.

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