Aishwarya Ramesh

Buying gold? Digital payment platforms like Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm can help…

Gold is no longer a showroom affair. Digital wallet platforms offer an alternative to those looking to invest in gold during the festive season.

With the ongoing festive season, more and more families are turning to gold as a mode of investment. Indians buy gold to mark auspicious occasions. But with the Coronavirus pandemic, people may not feel secure enough to step out of their homes to purchase gold, in-person.

One can now buy gold with the help of digital payments apps. Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm are three payment wallets in India that offer convenient ways to buy gold in different forms.

Google Pay has a gold vault offering, which is backed by MMTC-PAMP India, the country’s only LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) accredited gold refinery. According to a blog post, users can buy 99.99 per cent 24 karat gold, right within the app. The gold is stored on behalf of the user, by MMTC-PAMP, in secure vaults and can be sold at any time at the latest price.

Gold buying on Google Pay
Gold buying on Google Pay

This is akin to buying shares on the stock market and Google calls this ‘digital gold’. The customer also has the option of having the gold delivered to him and gifting it to his friends and family too, eliminating the need to visit a jeweller altogether.

PhonePe is another mobile wallets company that provides this offering. A blog post claims that millions of customers have bought gold on PhonePe with the assurance of purity, and a trustworthy buying and delivering experience.

Gold purchases on PhonePe
Gold purchases on PhonePe

The blog mentions that customers have the option of building their savings with small purchases worth Rs 10, Rs 100, Rs 1,000 or more. Other customers can choose to invest in gold for their businesses or family celebrations.

PhonePe also ran a South India focussed campaign that was broadcasted in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. The ad features a young couple driving to visit their in-laws. The ad showcases the convenience of buying gold using the app.

When a customer purchases gold on PhonePe, it is stored in a free bank-grade insured locker facility maintained by the providers, SafeGold and MMTC-PAMP India. IDBI trusteeship ensures that the gold can’t leave the locker facility without a proper audit. PhonePe also offers the option of having the gold home delivered.

Paytm Gold was launched in 2017. An article on Paytm’s blog claims that more than 60 per cent of all gold purchases on the platform are from Tier-II and III cities, with millennials constituting the majority. “People buy Paytm Gold worth up to Rs 500 at regular intervals — meaning they want to save in gold for the long-term,” says the post.

In 2018, Paytm launched two wealth management products — Gold Gifting, where customers can send 24K 999.9 purity gold to each other instantly, and Gold Savings Plan, a trusted and affordable means to save pure gold regularly for long-term wealth creation.

Paytm’s Gold Savings Plan claims to be able to help customers conveniently and regularly save money in the form of gold. This is as per their budget and requirement by entering the duration, frequency and amount of gold they want to save.

Customers can also easily keep track of all transactions done using their Gold Passbook, with the added convenience of no lock-in period. Like Google Pay and PhonePe, the customer’s gold will be stored in MMTC-PAMP’s insured lockers for free, and customers can avail delivery at any time.

A glimpse of Paytm Gold
A glimpse of Paytm Gold

Paytm adds that this will eliminate additional fees associated with offline gold purchase, like making and locker charges, while offering customers access to trusted and affordable gold savings for the long-term.