In the year 2017, tech giant Google has introduced its peer-to-peer payment service called Google Tez for India. Later in August 2018, the same has been rebranded as Google Pay. Last year in February 2018, WhatsApp has launched its payment service in India. There are a few thousand users who have tested the payment feature in WhatsApp. Now WhatsApp Pay is ready to launch officially in India soon. Let’s compare WhatsApp Pay vs Google Pay and check which one is better for us.
WhatsApp and Google are the two big tech giants that every Indian is using on a daily basis. With the WhatsApp Pay launch in India, it will directly compete with the existing players like Paytm and Google Pay. These are the two main rivals for WhatsApp Pay in India. I have already done a comparison on Paytm vs WhatsApp Pay. So let’s now check WhatsApp Pay vs Google Pay in this article.
With the launch of WhatsApp Pay in India, WhatsApp is more than just a regular messaging app. The WhatsApp Pay will allow users to send/receive money from family and friends in India. The set up is very easy and fast. The main benefit of using WhatsApp Pay is you don’t have to download a separate app to use WhatsApp Pay. The feature will be available in the existing WhatsApp mobile app only.
Google Pay has aggressively started its payment service last year and has got good success in terms of capturing market share in India. There are existing players like Paytm and MobiKwik which are providing mobile wallets facility as well. While Google Pay and WhatsApp Pay will not provide any mobile wallet facility. They are running on the UPI payment platform made by NPCI.
So there will be a competition between WhatsApp Pay, Google Pay, and PhonePe as they all are running on the UPI platform.
Both WhatsApp Pay and Google Pay have partnered with several Indian banks to provide UPI payment service in India. They both are supporting all the banks which are using UPI as a payment service in India. UPI is a real-time payment service that enables digital transactions between banks without the need of NFSC code and bank account number. The payment can be transferred even on the bank holidays.
WhatsApp Pay vs Google Pay
Now let’s compare WhatsApp Pay vs Google Pay on the various parameters and conclude which one is best.
WhatsApp has become a default messaging app for all those who are using smartphones. It has a massive 400 million active user base in India. With the launch of the payment service, it will by default be available to all the existing users of WhatsApp.
As a user, you don’t have to download any extra mobile app to use WhatsApp Pay. Even you don’t require to get your self registered for WhatsApp Pay. All you need to do is to set up your bank account once and you are good to go.
While in Google Pay, you need to download the Google Pay app from the play store and then you need to sign up with your email ID and then you need to update your profile. Here also you need to link your bank account once and then you can make payments.
The onboarding process for WhatsApp Pay is easier than Google Pay.
Score: WhatsApp Pay: 1 Google Pay: 0
Ease of Doing Transaction
WhatsApp has become a default messaging app for smartphone users in India. So it becomes terrifically simple to transfer money between friends and family as the same can be done in chat application only. You don’t have to open another app to perform the money transfer.
Google Pay, on the other hand, requires to be downloaded on both the sender and receiver’s mobile phone. They also need to share the unique VPA (Virtual Payment Address) to send/receive money.
Google Pay has a feature of sending money to a nearby person directly without providing any details. But that is limited to only when the person is nearby.
Google Pay users can send money to non-Google Pay user but that will require other person’s bank account details.
Google Pay doesn’t come with the messenger feature. WhatsApp is being a messenger service first, it makes easier for users to communicate with each other and transfer money within the chat window. WhatsApp Pay is a more holistic service as it offers messaging and digital payment service.
Score: WhatsApp Pay: 2 Google Pay: 0
Cashback and Rewards
We Indians are obsessed with Cashback and rewards. WhatsApp Pay is not officially launched in India. So at this moment, they are not offering any cashback or rewards for using WhatsApp Pay in India. But I am sure, WhatsApp Pay has designed a marketing strategy keeping the Indian consumer behavior in mind.
Google Pay is offering very good cashback offers on the first transactions on various merchants. Even they are providing rewards for referring your family and friends to use Google Pay. At the initial launch of Google Pay, they are offering a reward of up to Rs. 1000/-. I have also earned good rewards by using and referring Google Pay to my family and friends.
Score: WhatsApp Pay: 2 Google Pay: 1
Usability of Payment Service.
WhatsApp Pay is just a peer-to-peer money transfer service as of now. We can’t find any merchant payment or bill payment service in WhatsApp Pay as of now. So its use is just limited to transferring money within friends and family only.
Here Google Pay is a clear winner as it offers users to pay bills and enable transactions with merchants and businesses. So for the user who relies more on digital transactions for various purposes, WhatsApp Pay will not be enough.
Score: WhatsApp Pay: 2 Google Pay: 2
WhatsApp is mainly a messaging application. We are getting lots of spam and forwarded messages asking for making payment to a certain bank account. With this payment feature available the fraudulent transactions will rise by duping innocent users.
Google Pay doesn’t come with the messaging feature so the chances of fraudulent transactions are very less as compare to WhatsApp Pay.
Score: WhatsApp Pay: 2 Google Pay: 3
WhatsApp Pay comes with only the English language. Though most of the people are using it as a messaging application. But when it comes to real money transfer, things will change. People not knowing English may use WhatsApp as a messaging application but will not use it for transferring money.
Google Pay comes with major Indian languages like English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu. This will help the users to understand the app in their native language. It is obvious that this will give it more hits when we talk about making payments.
Score: WhatsApp Pay: 2 Google Pay: 4
WhatsApp Pay vs Google Pay – Who is the Winner?
WhatsApp is the widely used messaging application in India. The biggest advantage WhatsApp is having is its existing user base. So converting this base to make payment will not be a tough job for WhatsApp. WhatsApp has currently 400 million active monthly users in India. While Google Pay is slowly growing its base but it’s far behind than the existing base of WhatsApp.
At the same time, WhatsApp Pay comes with lots of limitations like it doesn’t support any merchant payment service or bill payment service. Without providing such services to users, WhatsApp Pay will not be successful. It will just remain as a peer-to-peer to money transfer and messaging app.
Even if the WhatsApp provides bill payment and merchant services, it will be just a competitor to Google Pay. So WhatsApp really needs to think deep and provide something more than what Google Pay is already providing.
As of now, the winner is Google Pay as it offers not only peer-to-peer money transfer but also provides bill payment and merchant services.
WhatsApp’s overall popularity gives it a boost over new players like Google Pay that is still new and still working to establish a user base. As far as convenience is concerned, people are likely to prefer WhatsApp to send and receive money rather than download a separate app to do so.
If you ask me, I will use WhatsApp Pay for transferring money to friends and family and use Google Pay for bill payments.