Bangalore — Alphabet’s Google is partnering with four Indian banks to grant consumer loans online, as the fight for a $1-trillion digital finance market intensifies. The US search giant is teaming with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Federal Bank to offer instant, pre-approved loans to customers "right within Google Pay in a matter of seconds," it said in a statement. From Facebook’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 fintech companies use data and algorithms to determine risk. The 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 directl...

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