Google lined up a new rewards play tying its payment platform more closely with Android apps in India, as it looks for ways to boost take-up of the service in the country, TechCrunch reported.

The company, which entered India’s increasingly competitive mobile payments market in 2017, has reportedly built an in-app engagement rewards platform to help developers and businesses, sources said.

At the centre of the project is Google Pay, which will be used to enable transactions between businesses and users, expanding the reach of the payment service.

The initiative, dubbed Project Cruiser, will formally be launched through partners using an SDK later this year. It has been developed by Google’s Next Billion Users team, and been in the works since 2018.

TechCrunch said if developers incorporate Project Cruiser into their apps, they can incentive users to perform certain actions, for example earning a small amount of money when they place their first order with a retail business, invite friends to use the service, or add a payment method.

Sources added that while the project will help to increase usage of its payment platform, it could also help businesses retain customers as a growing number of people are deleting apps after installing them.

India is a big market for Google’s payments platform, with uptake of digital transactions in the country growing substantially in recent years.

After launching the India-only Tez mobile payments app in 2017, the company rebranded the service to Google Pay in August 2018.

CEO Sundar Pichai said in 2018 more than 30 million customers were using the system each month, with 1 billion transactions processed in the first year of operation.