Google Pay’s dedicated section, Nearby Stores, which allows customers to locate grocery stores in the neighbourhood is now available in 35 Indian cities. The platform added Nearby Stores in April but was available in a few major cities.
Those merchants that are listed on Nearby Stores can indicate their business hours, what measures are being taken to maintain social distancing inside the store and which essential goods are in stock. The platform will also display whether a store is in the containment zone or not, specially for cities like Mumbai where the lockdown is still applicable in many areas.
The app also allows Pay users across India to book their cooking gas cylinders from HP Gas, Bharat Petroleum or Indane.
The 35 cities where Nearby Stores is now applicable include Delhi NCR, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Varanasi, Lucknow, Vishakapatnam, Kolkatta, Patna, Indore and Bhuwaneshwar.
The online platforms saw increase in listing of grocery stores as lockdown started and to make use of it, several payment platforms turned into grocery aggregators, showing nearby stores to their customers. In mid-April, PhonePe launched a similar feature called Stores with 10 million merchant partners across India. PayNearby also expanded its hyperlocal discover feature ByNearby to over 2 lakh grocery stores across India. The company has also tied up with IndusInd Bank to enable contactless payments at the stores.
Google Pay also added a dedicated window for Coronavirus which provides latest, official safety guidelines from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and lists names and links of charities that are taking donations to support relief work.