Google entered the digital payments space in India with the launch of its Tez app. Tez, means fast in Hindi, and the idea behind the app is to accelerate the process of digital transactions in an easy manner. Given it is Google’s first attempt at tapping the country’s rapidly increasing digital payment userbase, Tez blends a United Payments Interface (UPI) with a simple and easy-to-use layout. The app is live on both iOS and Android, and here are the the top features of the Tez app. Also Read - UEFA Euro 2020: Colourful Google Doodle kicks off European Football ChampionshipAlso Read - Android 12 beta 2 rolling out: New privacy features, tweaked design and more
Uses Google account for signing up
One of the best features of Tez app is that it doesn’t require you to create a separate account to operate it. It uses your Google account and mobile number, which is linked to your bank account to enable services. It further allows you to choose which Google account you want to use, in case you have two separate accounts registered on your device.
India is still moving towards a cashless economy, and one of the challenges with digital payments apps is their usage. A lot of apps often have a cluttered interface, making it difficult for users to make it their go-to choice while making payments. The Tez app, as Caesar Sengupta, Vice President of the Next Billion Users team at Google, noted during the launch event, has been designed keeping in mind the directives by NPCI when it comes to the interface. So if you look at the payments page, you will see resemblance to the BHIM app. However, keeping the interface standard is to ensure familiarity, and ease of use.
In addition to that, the app overall bears a messaging app-like layout. The main screen displays recipients of your last transactions under chat heads. In the discover section, you can choose people from your phonebook to send money to or decide the method of transfer. The designing is intuitive with the most important things available for access right on the main screen.
Audio QR for discreet transfers
Sengupta noted during the launch event that only about 1 percent of the total GDP is cashless. There is a huge gap between the technology owned by people and the technology embedded in point-of-sales terminals, and the existing apps. Google deliberately chose to do away with adding NFC capabilities as majority smartphones in India do not support that. Instead, the Tez app uses Audio-based QR system for pairing with nearby smartphone for money transfer. The Audio QR technology uses one-time code of ultrasound waves to enable transfers using the Cash Mode method.
This feature is also helpful when you do not want to divulge details such as phone number, virtual payment address, or bank details. You can simply choose to swipe up or down on the Cash Mode method for sending and receiving money. It will prompt the nearby user’s account for you to proceed with transfer. ALSO READ: Google Tez: How to use this light UPI app to make transactions
New channel for businesses
At present, businesses such as RedBus, Dominos, PVR Cinemas, Jet Airways, and DishTV are early partners of Tez. This basically means you can make payments to these services using Tez. However, what makes the payments service beneficial to vendors is that it allows them to interact with customers through alerts about offers, schemes, and more. For example, if you made a payment for RedBus ticket through Tez, then you will receive a prompt of successful payment in the app, along with related message about off on your next purchase, and such similar alert. From there, you can further connect with the service through the call button.
Additionally, merchants can integrate the app into their web or app services. The app is already linked to Chrome browser, so if a vendor wants to integrate Tez as one of the payment methods, they can do so. Tez can also be integrated into standalone apps as method of payment. For example, Dominos can have Tez integrated into its mobile app as one of the methods of payment. The whole ecosystem is seamless as Tez is directly connected to the bank, and only requires UPI PIN for transfers. In simpler terms, there is no need to punch in card details, ask for OTP, and then authenticate transfers.
One of the crucial aspects of the app, as claimed by Google, is that it is secure through the Tez Shield. The app’s transactions are carried out with multiple layers of security. Right from your smartphone’s lock, to the UPI PIN, every step is covered under this shield. During setup, the app asks you to permit the app to ask you for Touch ID (in iOS) or Google PIN for every time you log into it. This reduces the risk of accidental transfers. Also, for every transfer, you are required to authenticate using UPI PIN.
In case of theft or damage to the device, Sengupta said, one can remotely disable the app. The Google help center provides 24/7 help to detect fraud, prevent hacking, and verify identity. ALSO READ: Samsung Pay Mini vs Samsung Pay: What is the difference?
More features promised
Going forward, Tez app will allow credit or debit card payments as well. At the moments, only UPI-based payments are enabled for ease of use. With credit or debit cards, you should theoretically be able to make payments to recipients who do not have UPI addresses, such as international services, friends in other nations, and so on.
When asked if Android Pay has been placed on the back burner, the company clarified saying, Android Pay caters to a market which is unlike India. In future, the company hopes to bring Android Pay-like features to the Tez app – which has been built for the Indian payment ecosystem. The addition of credit/debit cards will mark as the first step in that direction. Also, as more clairty on Aadhaar will be achieved, there appears a likelihood of Aadhaar integration into the app as well.