Google gears up for the next battle on the offline payments front.

Google Pay, recognized as one of the three leading UPI (Unified Payments Interface)-based online payment platforms, has reportedly devised an offline strategy aimed at creating an ecosystem of payment solutions for smaller offline retailers (commonly known as kirana stores), after facing success with its P2P (peer-to-peer) bill payments.

Sources close to the matter state that Google had earlier disclosed its plans to collaborate with PoS (point of sale) providers for onboarding retail merchants. Google is currently piloting UPI-based transactions to be made by consumers every time they make offline purchases. Sources further affirm that India is a key market for the technology giant, that is intending to link up the Next Billion Users to the Internet. The company also targets a considerable space in the consumer-retail interface.

A top payment executive was recently quoted saying that the latest strategy is likely to equip the smart phone with the convenience of card payments, yet the only difference here will be that customers will be required to share their mobile numbers at the billing counter, rather than swiping cards. Subsequently, customers will be receiving a request as ‘collect’ on their Google Pay mobile applications and will have to enter the UPI PIN for completing the payment procedure.

According to Ambarish Kenghe, Director of Product Management, Google Pay, the company envisions to enable speedy, secure and seamless payments for its users at any time on the go, be it paying other users, purchasing products or services online, paying at retail outlets for utilities or recharging mobile phone balance. He added that the offline ecosystem will expectedly become a vital component of the company’s objective of providing users with a smooth payment experience with Google Pay.

For the record, Google’s latest plans correspond to the recent offline strategy of PhonePe, that is currently using MapMyIndia, targeting offline stores and looking to promote UPI payments.