Google on Tuesday launched a new service in India – one that lets users find and compare mobile prepaid packs, and even recharge, directly from Search. This Google Search mobile recharge feature is currently available only for signed-in Android users, and it collates prepaid plans from all major telcos – Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, Reliance Jio, and BSNL – across India. This new search feature enables users in India to discover, compare, and recharge prepaid mobile plans using Google Search. The tech giant will not only allow users to recharge their own number, but also lets you recharge another person’s prepaid plan.
To use this feature, the user must type a search query like ‘prepaid mobile recharge’, ‘sim recharge’ or other related queries on their Android device. The search result will then show a Mobile Recharge section, where users will have to fill in key fields such as phone number, operator, and circle, then hit ‘Browse plans’. Google will then show you all the prepaid plans available by that operator and the preferred plan can be chosen from the list.
After a user chooses a plan, they are given a list of valid offers from all the compatible providers who can fulfil the selected plan. The user can then tap a provider to complete checkout through the service provider’s app or mobile site. Providers like FreeCharge, MobiKwik, Google Pay, and Paytm are currently listed, and operators like Reliance Jio, Vodafone-Idea, Airtel, and BSNL are compatible with this feature.
When the user completes the transaction, the provider’s confirmation page includes a Back to Google button that directs the user back to Search. On the confirmation page, users are also given access to customer support information about the recharge. We still cannot see this feature on our Android phone, but we expect it to roll out to all eligible users soon. Google is expected to add more carrier partners and more payment provider options in the future.