Technology giant Google India has rolled out new features on its apps to help digitalise small businesses in the country amid Covid-19.
The Google Pay app will allow users to discover nearby kirana stores and offer business loans for merchants, as per a statement.
The ‘nearby stores’ feature, which the company ran as a pilot in May, has been rolled out across the country, it said. The app will show details such as business hours, stock availability and whether social distancing measures are in place at the store or not.
It has partnered with financial institutions to provide monetary support to the three million merchants on the payments platform, it added.
“We recognise that recovery will come in different stages for different businesses and navigating the digital world can be a daunting experience for many,” Shalini Girish, director of Google customer solutions for India, said.
“Under our Digital Unlocked programme, over one million businesses and individuals have gained from Google’s digital skilling programme in India. We will be doubling down on this effort to help businesses across all parts of India to unlock the full value of going digital by not just helping them connect with more customers online and offline,” she added.
Additionally, it has set up a platform, called Grow with Google Small Business Hub, which will provide small businesses access to products, support pages and quick-learn videos to help them digitalise and maintain business continuity, the statement said.
It will also provide small businesses free access to professional versions of Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides till September 30, it said. It announced in April that its video conferencing platform Google Meet would be available for free till September as well.
The company said it is also developing a ‘promoted pins’ solution on Google Maps for merchants. The feature, still in pilot stages, would display individual stores in unique square shaped pins on the map.