With the aim to focus on next billion users online and India’s growing SMEs sector, global search giant Google has launched a mobile payment app called Google Tez in India. The app which is available on both Android and iOs platform has been specially made for Indian customers. Along with English, the app supports seven Indian languages – Hindi, Bengali, Gujrati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
To facilitate the processing of payments, Google has partnered with four major Indian banks — Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank of India (SBI) but basic backbone of the payment system is India’s UPI system. “With Tez, we are not just building an app but working towards a digital ecosystem that brings together millions of smartphone users, small merchants, large businesses, and financial institutions — all built on the UPI infrastructure that NPCI and the Indian government have taken great initiative in developing,” said said Diana Layfield, Vice President, Head of Finance & Commerce Products, Next Billion Users.
Google Tez’s Cash Mode sends money from person to person with just a few taps. By pressing and holding the Cash Mode buttons at the same time, two people using Tez are able to make a secure transaction in seconds without needing to share private details like phone numbers or account numbers. This happens through Google’s Audio QR (AQR) ultrasound technology.
Google Tez syncs with the contact list in users’ phones, in accordance with their privacy settings. This way users can start a transaction just by searching for a friend’s name or phone number. Once a contact is on Tez, users do not have to add beneficiaries or enter bank account number and IFSC codes. If the other person is not on Tez or in the phone contact list, then users can still pay them with their bank account number or UPI ID. Transaction history with each person is grouped together like a conversation — just like how Gmail groups emails together. This makes it easier to find a particular transaction, instead of going through long statements, said Google.
Google Tez is accepted anywhere that UPI is accepted – even shopping at the corner store or buying online. When users shop at a Tez for Business merchant they get access to tailored offers and smart reminders for upcoming payments. An integration with Chrome makes mobile web payments just like paying in an app, and users can quickly get to a business’s website or contact customer support, right from Tez so they don’t need install an app for every business they engage with.
Google Tez is not a digital wallet requiring constant top up. Instead, Tez works with all 50+ UPI-enabled banks, so that money stays in users’ bank accounts until they need to use it. Tez users continue to earn interest from their banks and have their deposits backed by bank security guarantees. There is no need to reload a digital wallet.
Google informed, “Tez is backed by multiple security levels, including dedicated security systems offered by Indian banks, the NPCI, and the Tez Shield — Google’s suite of security features, including a machine-learning-based fraud detection engine, device level protection, including a Google PIN, and no sharing of phone numbers or bank account numbers via Cash Mode. Customer service is available 24/7.
Google Tez works on the vast majority of smartphones on both Android and iOS, in English and Hindi. The Android version is available in additional Indian languages: Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, and Gujarati.
Google Tez for business
Google also announced a program called “Tez for Business,” which offers businesses an easy digital payments option. Tez for Business merchants get their own business channel on the Tez app where they can engage directly with their customers to share offers, send payment reminders, link to their mobile website or customer support, and more. This gives an app-like payment experience without needing to download an app.
Online businesses can integrate the Payment Request API so they can securely accept UPI payments using Tez on their mobile websites with just a few taps. The program will be initially open to businesses with an online presence and will expand to offline merchants in the coming months. PVR Cinemas and redBus are already integrated at launch. DishTV, Jet Airways and Domino’s will come on board in the coming weeks. Businesses can express interest on the Tez website, said Google.