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Google teams with banks to launch digital lending for India

People ride a travelator in front of a sign featuring Google Inc.'s logo at the company's Asia-Pacific headquarters during its opening day in Singapore, on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

By BLOOMBERG

BANGALORE • Alphabet Inc’s Google is partnering four Indian banks to grant consumer loans online, as the fight for a US$1 trillion (RM4.09 trillion) digital finance market intensifies.

The US search giant is teaming with HDFC Bank Ltd, ICICI Bank Ltd, Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd and Federal Bank Ltd to offer instant, pre-approved loans to customers “right within Google Pay in a matter of seconds”, it said in a statement.

From Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp to Jack Ma’s Ant Financial, Internet giants are joining a race to provide financial services in the world’s fastest- growing mobile arena. Online lending is becoming the next frontier as mobile users look for small loans with minimal paperwork, served to them even without credit ratings as financial technology companies use data and algorithms to determine risk.

The Mountain View, California-based company re-branded its made-in-India Tez app, launched in September, as Google Pay — the catch-all label for its payments services.

The app’s users can take out a customised loan and get the money deposited directly into their bank account. It now intends to take its innovations and features to other markets.