How to use Google Pay in India: a complete guide

Use Google Pay like a pro!

(Image: © Future)

Digital payments in India took off a couple of years ago thanks to the UPI payments apps. Google Pay is one of the most popular apps from Google which works on Unified Payments Interface a.k.a UPI. Initially launched as ‘Tez by Google’, it was later rebranded to Google Pay.

With the government also encouraging digital payments and prepaid transactions for the coming post-lockdown period, this is the right time to do so. Here’s the complete guide on how to get started with the app and use it like a pro.

What is UPI? 

UPI stands for Unified Payments Interface. It is a system that can handle multiple bank accounts in a solo mobile application. It merges several banking features like transfer, check balance, and much more. The UPI apps work 24x7 and it is an instant real-time payment system. 

In India, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) started the UPI pilot program with 21 banks and now UPI supports over 140 banks. 

Pre-requisites to use Google Pay:

  • A bank account linked with mobile number
  • A valid debit card
  • Android/iOS smartphones (non-rooted)

How to install and set up

Note: Give access to the necessary permissions when asked 

(Image credit: Future)
  • Install Google Pay from Play Store (opens in new tab)
  • Once installed, open the app and enter your mobile number linked with your bank account
  • Pick your Google account, and hit the Next button
  • You will get the OTP and Google Pay will automatically verify it
  • Select the option to secure your account with a current phone screen lock or create a new 4-digit Google PIN 
  • Once the above steps are completed, you’ll be taken to the app’s home screen

Adding bank account on Google Pay

(Image credit: Future)
  • In the home screen, tap on the profile icon on the top right corner
  • Under the payment methods, click on the Bank account
  • Click on Add Bank Account
  • Select your bank from the list 
  • Allow your phone to send SMS
  • Your bank account will be displayed with the UPI ID. It is an automated process
  • Click the Activate account button below 
  • You will be taken to a page where you will have to enter the last 6 digits of your debit/ATM card along with expiry date
  • After entering the details, you’ll get another OTP 
  • You’ll be asked to set up a UPI PIN (a 4/6 digit PIN) twice
  • Once this is done, your bank account will be added to Google Pay

In case you want to change your app language later, you can click on the profile icon in the home screen, then tap on settings. Now, click on the language and select your preferred language. 

How to add multiple bank accounts and check balance

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Google Pay also allows you to add more than one bank account. To add multiple accounts, you just need to follow the same steps as above. First, tap on the profile photo in the home screen and then click on the existing bank account. Now you will have to repeat steps 2 to 10 again. 

(Image credit: Future)

Checking the bank balance is pretty straightforward. You scroll down on the home page, click on the “check account balance” and click on the bank account for which you want to check the balance. Now, tap on the View Balance, enter UPI code and you will get the balance. 

Also, you can set the primary bank account from which you want to send/receive money. It is the same as Check balance, you can select “Set as primary account” and that particular bank account will be made your default bank account.

User Interface

The Home screen is where you get access to all the things. On the right top, you have your account details with your profile icons. It will have the account details of your Google Pay account like your name, mobile number, UPI ID, bank account details, and more. 

Once you’ve completed your setup, you might not need to access this screen much. On to the left of the home screen, you will have a scanner icon, which you can use to pay (more on that ahead). 

(Image credit: Future)

The second half of the home screen is where all the major transactions happen. It will have your recently transacted people with their name and profile icon with “People” tag along with a “Pay” button towards the right. Just below this, Google Pay has another section called “Businesses and bills” with recent translation history. It is tagged along with an explore button. There is a Rewards, Offers, and Referrals section just below.

Lastly, to check your payment history, you have “See all payment activity” and “Check account balance” sections. There is also a “New Payment” floating button on the home screen.

How to pay using Google Pay

With Google Pay app, you can pay in many ways. Let’s take a look at all the methods here:

(Image credit: Future)

Pay with mobile number/name

For any person across the country, you can pay with just his/her mobile number. If the contact is saved in your phone, it’s pretty straight forward.

  • Click on the "New Payment" button on the home screen
  • Select the contact from the list or enter the phone number
  • You’ll be taken to a new screen, click on “Pay” and enter the amount. Adding a small note below the amount would be handy.
  • Tap on "Proceed" to pay
  • Enter UPI PIN and money will be transferred instantly

Pay with QR code/Spot Code

When you go to any shop or other businesses, you can pay via QR code scanner. Just open the scanner on the top left of the screen, scan the QR code, enter the amount, and enter the PIN. In case someone sends you their QR code via WhatsApp or other apps, you can access the image from scanner page from the top right corner by clicking on the menu icon (three dots) on “Upload from the gallery”. 

(Image credit: Future)

Google also introduced a new Spot code recently. Spot code is Google’s visual code for Google Pay in India. It works similar to the QR code. You can share and scan Spot code. The spot codes can be used to pay merchants as they offer branded experience.

  • Open Google Pay
  • Tap on the scanner icon
  • Now, click on "Show my Spot Code"
  • People can scan the code with Google Pay scanner

Pay with Bank account info

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  • Click on "New payment" in the home screen
  • Tap on Bank transfer
  • Fill Account number, re-enter, IFSC code, and recipient name
  • Click continue
  • Enter the amount and note
  • Enter your UPI PIN 

Self Transfer

If you have multiple bank accounts  and want to transfer funds between them, you can follow these steps.

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  • Tap on "New payment"
  • Select Self-transfer
  • Select from and to account, click next
  • Enter amount

How to receive payments on Google Pay


Requesting is the easiest way to receive money from someone. As the name suggests, you can directly request money from someone on the app.

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  • Click in the user chat head on the home screen or select a user by tapping on New payment
  • Now, tap on Request
  • Enter amount and note

Receive with UPI ID

  • Click on the profile icon
  • Under your name and mobile number, you’ll see your UPI ID
  • Send that to the person from whom you want to receive the payment
  • Ask them to enter the same UPI ID, verify your name and then complete the payment

Receive with QR code

(Image credit: Future)
  • Click on the scanner icon
  • Select “Show my spot code”
  • Ask the person to scan and complete the payment

Recharge and Bill payments

Google Pay, not only allows you to pay and receive money, but it also allows you to recharge phones, pay for food on Zomato, book tickets, and much more. Just head to the new payment screen and click on the Business tab. Here you’ll see Recharge and Bill payments option. 

To do mobile recharge, just hit on the mobile recharge button and enter the phone number, select the operator and plan. Click on "Proceed to pay" and enter the UPI PIN.

(Image credit: Future)

Under the Bill payment sections, you get options for paying DTH bill, electricity bill, postpaid mobile bill, broadband, LPG booking, landline, water, and much more. For electricity and water bill generation, you will have to enter the Account ID/Customer ID which will be generated on your bill every month.  

Once you enter the bill and setup your account, you will get a notification every month with bill status, payment due date, and the amount. You can click on the Pay bill button and proceed and complete the payment. 

Change UPI PIN

  • Click on the profile icon
  • Tap Payment methods
  • Select a bank account
  • Click on the top-right menu option(three dots)
  • Select change PIN
  • Enter the current PIN
  • Set new PIN, re-enter PIN to confirm

(Image credit: Future)

Remove bank account from Google Pay

  • Click on the profile icon
  • Tap Payment methods
  • Select a bank account
  • Click on the top-right menu option(three dots)
  • Select Remove account
  • Hit continue

Your account will be removed from the app.

In case you want to completely close the Google Pay account, you can also do that. Head to the settings -> scroll down to Close account and tap -> click Close. You UPI accounts will be deregistered. 

Once you start using UPI apps like Google Pay, it will completely change the way you pay money. It offers several banking features at your fingertips. In the time of lockdown where we have to maintain social distance, the Scan and pay feature will come in handy. 

Google Pay also comes with security features. The app asks you to unlock your screen with fingerprint/PIN/password every time you open it. The payments are also secured by UPI PIN.   

Srivatsa is a prolific writer who spearheads the core writing team on tech news, buying guides, reviews, and all gadget articles. He is passionate about technology.