Google Tez has become the latest UPI-based payments app in the country, propelling the Internet search giant into the league of companies eyeing a piece of India’s digital payments pie. The new Google Tez app can be used to pay for movie tickets, utility bills, and make other transactions online. The company will hold a launch event for the app on Monday in New Delhi, but has made it official ahead of that. Tez means fast in Hindi, which the company said was one of the selling points of its new app. Google’s rivals such as Amazon and Facebook are also making efforts to tap the country’s digital payments market.
Google Tez is a standalone payments app, available on Android and iOS, and is powered by UPI, a payments protocol built by government-backed organisation NPCI. The launch of Tez comes nine months after the company chief executive officer Sundar Pichai told NDTV in a televised interview that he was looking at UPI and ways to adopt it.
Google Tez features
The Google Tez UPI-enabled digital payments app supports various local languages including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu. The interface is straightforward. The company asks users to enter their bank account number and verify their ownership. They can do so easily by quickly sending a text message from their registered phone number through the Tez app’s interface. Once verified, Google prompts the user to add a UPI PIN, and then they can start making payments. They can then see all their friends who’re also using Tez, and request and pay money.
More interestingly, however, is the Google Tez “Cash mode” option, which transmits “audio” to identify the person nearby to you, and lets you pay or receive money when you’re able to find that user. The company has partnered with HDFC Bank, ICICI, and State Bank of India for backend processing.
Google has partnered with several popular services to boost its usage. Bus ticketing service RedBus, PVR Cinemas, Domino’s Pizza, DishTV and Jet Airways are launch partners, it said on the website. The company suggests users to have look out for Tez logo in their favourite services to see whether it is supported. The company has also introduced “Tez Scratch Cards”, and from the description it appears it will be offering customers deals and vouchers through this feature to attract them.