As people across India are currently under a lockdown and practising social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digital payments have gain a centre stage. Now even Google has introduced the ‘Nearby Spot’ on Google Pay to help users see local stores providing essentials like groceries, which are currently open.
Google Pay believes this information will help users to contact the appropriate business, pay digitally and aid social distancing efforts. The ‘Nearby Spot’ has been rolled out in Bengaluru and will be launching in Hyderabad, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, and Delhi soon.
Besides this ‘Nearby Spot’, the tech giant has also rolled out the COVID-19 Spot feature on Google Pay that provides all pertinent information on the topic, sourced directly from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).
“The Spot also helps users donate to PM-CARES or to NGOs such as SEEDS, Give India, United Way and Charities Aid Foundation, which are working towards procurement of protective equipment for medical workers and relief for lockdown-impacted daily wagers. Donations to PM-CARES on Google Pay have thus far collected over ₹105 crores and continue to grow,” an official Google India blogpost revealed.
Moreover, Google is working to support those whose livelihoods and access to basic sustenance are at risk dur to COVID-19 — especially the millions of migrant workers returning to their hometowns, or stranded in the cities without a source of income or food.
For this, Google has started indicating the locations of hundreds of food and night shelters set up by the government across the country, accessible through Google Maps, Search, and Google Assistant. Up until now, this includes more than 33 cities with over 1,500 food and night shelters identified. An official blogpost has clarified that users can put forth query in both English and Hindi as of now, and efforts are on to bring this to other Indian languages over the coming weeks.
Besides this, the information on COVID-19 can also be accessed via Google Assistant on KaiOS in both Hindi and English. All one need to do is simply take the name of location and ask ‘ में भोजन केंद्र’ and ‘ में रैन बसेरा’, or ‘Food shelters in ’ and ‘Night shelters in ’.
In addition, Vodafone-Idea subscribers can also use the Phone Line offering that enables 2G feature phone users to get details of nearby food and night shelters by dialing the toll-free number 000 800 9191 000, and using the queries above.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the health and lives of many across India as it necessary to introduce fundamental changes to our routine life in this unprecedented situation.
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