Google’s SoundPod will face off against competitors’ soundboxes, such as Paytm and PhonePe.

Google said on Thursday that it is beginning to distribute the SoundPod, a wireless speaker that can authenticate payments made through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) quick payment system, to small retailers in India. The deployment is scheduled for later this year, according to the business, which began testing the device last year as part of a small study. Rivals of Google Pay, PhonePe and Paytm (the latter subject to RBI penalties for breaking numerous regulations) already provide comparable services for retailers in the nation.

Ambarish Kenghe, Google’s vice president of products for Google Pay, stated on a blog post on Thursday that the company’s SoundPod will be available to small retailers in the nation “over the coming months.” Merchants that took part in Google’s year-long SoundPod trial in India gave the company excellent feedback, including quicker checkout times, according to Kenghe.

There is only one speaker and an LCD screen on the SoundPod. Google claims that it is capable of 4G connectivity. It contains menu, volume, and power buttons in addition to three LED indicators that show the device’s battery, charging, and connectivity status.

The ‘Soundbox’ speakers from Paytm have a battery life of four to twelve days and come with 2G or 4G connections; two types include LCD screens, while another can play music over Bluetooth. However, PhonePe’s SmartSpeaker supports many languages and provides up to four days of battery life on a single charge.

Although the company hasn’t provided a firm date for the SoundPod’s launch in India, competitors Paytm and PhonePe provide comparable audio gadgets that are already in use by retailers all throughout the nation. The monthly subscription fee for merchants to use these audio-based announcement services ranges from Rs. 50 to Rs. 125.

According to Google, retailers will be able to select between two SoundPod membership options: an annual subscription priced at Rs. 1,499, or a one-time payment of Rs. 499 followed by a monthly subscription plan of Rs. 125. When selecting the annual plan, merchants will not be required to pay the one-time cost. The company claims that customers who use QR codes to make 400 payments in a month would receive a guaranteed Rs. 125 payback.

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