At the launch of its payments service for India, Google announced partnerships with budget smartphone manufacturers Micromax, Lava, Xolo and others, to offer the Tez app on a pre-installed basis. Upcoming handsets from the above manufacturers, as well as Nokia and Panasonic, will have Google’s payments app pre-loaded. This spares users the hassle of downloading it before usage. The Silicon Valley giant reckons that ease-of-use will spur adoption of the UPI-based app. Google further declared that it was open to more such partnerships.
Tez works on both Android and iOS platforms, and allows users to make all kinds of retail as well as peer-to-peer payments straight from their bank accounts. Currently, Google has partnered with Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank of India (SBI) to facilitate the processing of payments across all UPI-enabled banks. “The app was built for India, working on the vast majority of the country’s smartphones and available in English and seven Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu),” Google said in a statement. ALSO READ: Google Tez: How to use this light UPI app to make transactions
Google has already roped in merchants that accept Tez payments. Some of them include popular ticketing service redBus, quick-service restaurant Domino’s Pizza, airline operator Jet Airways and multiplex chain PVR Cinemas. “Tez makes it faster and more secure to pay on apps and websites – anywhere that UPI is accepted. When you check out, look for the Tez logo or use your Tez UPI ID,” the Tez site states. When users shop at a ‘Tez for Business’ merchant, they get access to customized offers and smart reminders for upcoming payments. To counter attractive cashbacks and coupons offered by rival payment services, Google has launched Tez Scratch Cards, that make users eligible for cash rewards up to Rs. 1,000. ALSO READ: UPI transactions growing way faster than Aadhaar-based payments: Report
“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. We look forward to bringing more features and innovations to meet people’s needs, and providing businesses with more ways to interact with their customers,” Diana Layfield, Vice President, Head of Finance & Commerce Products, Next Billion Users, said in a statement.
Commenting on the announcement, DD Mishra, Research Director, Gartner said “We are seeing a trend where the number of UPI based payment apps are increasing and this is likely to continue. This is currently in line with the expectations and requirements around digital payments and we will see new features to differentiate that will be added to differentiate the app and attract customer base.”
In response to a query on whether Tez would manage to become a gamechanger in the mobile payment space, Mishra said, “It provides promising features which are in line with the requirements. It is multilingual and covers many major languages. It is too early to say whether it can be a game changer as evolution in this business is going to continue, but yes it has the capabilities to bring some disruption as of now.” He added that Google’s information “about an individual’s preferences can play a good role in enabling business to know their preferences and provide offers with interesting options.”
He said that Tez tries to address security concerns as well. “The mobile wallet industry too is evolving and we are at an interesting stage in this competition. Eventually, UPI payments will have an upper hand if it continues to remain free and provide better security, convenience and add more value added services. It will all depend on how fast Google can build ecosystem of partnerships around it and continue to sustain innovations,” Mishra said.