The payments space in India is heating up and how. From homegrown mobile wallets like Paytm to either operational or soon-to-be launched payments services by global tech behemoths including WhatsApp, Amazon and Samsung, the market is pretty much inundated now. Now, Google too is throwing its hat in the ring. The search giant is expected to announce its made-for-India payments app, Tez, early next week, The Ken reported. The app would be UPI-based, much like WhatsApp’s upcoming P2P service would be, and Google is in talks with several private and public Indian banks for partnerships.
Google‘s application for ‘Tez’ (which means fast in Hindi) to the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks, was sighted on Twitter. The application dates back to June-end, and talks of services including electronic funds transfer, “contactless” payments services, debit/credit card transaction processing, wireless wallets, loyalty card payments, and more using near field technology (NFC) — a system that allows communication between two closely placed electronic devices.
— Venkat Ananth (@venkatananth) September 14, 2017
Google, of course, hasn’t made anything official yet, but the report suggest that the company “is expected to deploy a multi-pronged strategy for its payment push with device, content, data, and applications at the heart of it.” Additionally, it will integrate several third-party payment wallets including Paytm, MobiKwik, etc. besides its own UPI-based service. This will automatically makes Google Tez more democratic, and could help in initial adoption. ALSO READ: Uber, Amazon are integrating UPI; Google, WhatsApp to follow: Report
Google first hinted at a UPI-based payments service in January, when CEO Sundar Pichai toured India. He said that Google was exploring ways to introduce UPI-based services in the wake of demonetization that had left 86 percent of the country’s cash useless almost overnight. “Google is understanding what UPI is and the power of the stack built here… [and we] may bring services from Google on top of UPI which will make things better for users in India,” Pichai had told the local media. ALSO READ: Google is exploring UPI-based services for India: CEO Sundar Pichai
A July 2016 Google-BCG study had revealed that the Indian digital payments industry would grow to $500 billion by 2020, contributing to 15 percent of the country’s GDP. And surely Google isn’t missing the bus. A formal announcement on Tez is expected as soon as September 18.