The announcements span ONDC collaboration, YouTube News overhaul, Google Merchant Centre AI, Play Protect security, and GPay's new launches.
In its 9th annual Google for India event today (October 19, 2023) in Delhi, Google announced a series of strategic initiatives harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance user experiences and contribute to various sectors in the country.
The tech giant revealed plans ranging from partnerships with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to advancements in YouTube News, Google Merchant Centre, and Google Play Protect. Additionally, significant developments were disclosed in Google's digital payment service, Google Pay, and the manufacturing of Google Pixel devices in India.
Partnership with ONDC
Google unveiled a collaboration with the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to enable nearby physical stores. Businesses registered with ONDC will now be integrated into Google Maps and Cloud, providing users with comprehensive details on inventory, shipping, and more. The collaboration extends to facilitating metro ticket bookings through Google Maps, with the initial rollout expected in the coming months across key metro cities such as Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai.
A revamped watch page for news on YouTube was introduced, offering a more immersive experience. The new feature encompasses breaking news, live updates, and shorts, with the ability to explore alternate sources for a deeper understanding of a story. This feature will be available in 11 Indian languages from the next quarter of 2023, enhancing accessibility for a diverse user base.
Google Merchant Centre
Google is integrating AI into the Google Merchant Centre, empowering small businesses with tools to manage categories such as availability and clicks. The rollout has already commenced for new users, promising to facilitate expansion plans for small businesses through language moderation capabilities.
Google aims to enrich AI-assisted searches with more visuals, incorporating images and videos into search prompts. The introduction of Generative AI in Search promises to enhance city exploration by integrating user reviews. Google Lens now offers the capability to check for skin diseases, while the Search Generative Experience (SGE) will be available in Hindi and English in India. Google will also be launching Meera Chat in 11 Indian languages in the next quarter.
Google Play Protect’s Security
Google Play Protect introduced 'Digikavach' for early threat detection and warnings. The system studies the modus operandi of potential threats, collaborates with the ecosystem, and recommends app scans during installations. Google Play Protect has joined forces with the Ministry of Electronics and IT to bolster security measures against fraudulent apps and services.
GPay New Launches
Google Pay introduced several new offerings, including Rupay and Creditline on UPI, personal loans with Axis Bank and DMI Finance, business loans in collaboration with DMI Finance and ICICI, and sachet loans with DMI Finance. The repayment plans start as low as ₹111, with a special Merchant Creditline collaboration with ePaylater. Google Pay also launched 'Digital Pragati,' providing digital access to credit.
Google Pixel Manufacturing in India
Google revealed plans to manufacture the Pixel 8 in India, aligning with the 'Make in India' initiative. The Pixel 8, expected to be available from early 2024, marks a significant step in Google's commitment to local manufacturing.