In tune with reports, Google has hopped onto the digital payments drive in India by launching its mobile wallet app and payment service called ‘Tez’ (which stands for fast in Hindi). Similar to how competing mobile wallet services function, Tez will allow you to pay for goods and services digitally.
The information portal of the service, scheduled to be announced at an event in New Delhi today, is already live on tez.google.com. Google’s Tez launches today in India, and is available for users on Android and iOS platforms. It supports banks including Axis, HDFC Bank, ICICI and State Bank of India, as well as others that support UPI. To recall, UPI or United Payments Interface enables one to send or receive money through a virtual address, doing away with the need of putting details such as NFSC code or other related bank account details. This is made possible as the virtual address is linked to the bank account.
In addition to the support for banks, Tez also supports online payment partners which include Dominos, RedBus, and Jet Airways. So for example, the next time you’re eating at Dominos or traveling through RedBus, you can make digital payment using Tez.
Google in India
Google’s footprint in India is strong owing to the company’s continuous focus on localization. For the mobile wallet app, Google has added support for languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
With mobile wallet apps linked directly to a bank account, there arises a concern for security. To address this, Tez comes with a feature called ‘Tez Shield’ that works like a fraud-detection mechanism to protect your money. As Google notes, each transaction is secured with your UPI PIN, and the app itself can be secured through Google PIN or by your screen lock method such as fingerprint. For any issue related to the app, the Google helpline number, and chat support is available everyday. RELATED: UPI now available offline via USSD-based mobile banking; here’s how it works
How does Tez work
The app features a Cash Mode, which allows you to instantly transfer cash to anyone nearby without the need to share your contact or bank details. This feature works in the same way as sharing photos or media to a nearby device connected over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Separately, you can transfer money using UPI address or the Tez UPI address to anyone who has a UPI-supported bank account. The payments can be made for online goods, physical stores, and person-to-person transfers. Online services will feature a Tez logo to indicate support. It is to be noted that the transactions need to be Rs 50 and more per user. For merchants with current accounts in banks, the limit is Rs 50,000 per month with UPI with no fee. Post this limit, there will be additional requirements, along with bank fee.
To accelerate adoption, Google is offering Tez Scratch Cards within the app, using which you can earn up to Rs 1,000 for eligible transactions. You can also enrol in Lucky Sundays offer to win up to Rs 1 lakh every week. Interestingly, these offers do not require you to apply any code during any transaction. You need to use Tez for making payments and if you win, the bounty goes straight to your account.
The launch of Tez takes place at a time when India is rapidly pacing towards an all-digital economy. Thanks to the demonetization drive, incumbent payment services witnessed dramatic rise in adoption and transfer levels. What will also help Google is its significant penetration in India, which also happens to be one of the company’s biggest markets. Although there is no word yet, we could see the app being pre-installed on future Android smartphones. ALSO READ: UPI transactions growing way faster than Aadhaar-based payments: Report