Google today announced the launch of its new payments app for India – Google Tez. The word ‘tez’ is taken from Hindi and literally translates into fast. Google Tez is available on Android and iOS and is built to support India’s UPI (unified payments interface). Tez also includes an audio-based person-to-person money transfer feature that allows users to send and receive money without exchanges any numbers or codes.
Customers will be able to make personal transfers as well as pay at business outlets using Tez apps. Merchants that have already signed on to support Tez include pizza chain Domino’s and movie theaters PVR. Several other merchants are expected to go live soon. The entire foundation for Google Tez is the simplicity of money transfers which has been at the center of UPI’s architecture.
India is now being largely seen as a country that is adopting cashless methods of payments. After the government announced its plans to demonetize specific currency notes last year, it has gone on the offensive to promote cashless transfers since then. Payment apps like Paytm have seen a massive adoption rate as cash became hard to get by.
Now that there’s enough cash accessible, people who have been exposed to digital payments are expected to at least keep a part of their spending in the cashless economy. Google Tez competes with the likes of homegrown products like Flipkart’s PhonePe.
Google Tez apps will be preinstalled on smartphones by Nokia, XOLO, Panasonic, and Micromax in India. The apps have been designed well with ease of use at the core of its design principles. Google has also built in a safety net across the app to prevent fraudulent activities. Tez will be backed by round-the-clock user support system.
Customers can transfer money using UPI VPAs or even by bringing their smartphones closer with cash mode. The feature uses audio based codes to identify the other person’s VPA. Once the user gets that, they can select the amount of money that needs to be transferred.
So far Google Tez isn’t completely hassle-free. Users have been reporting issues with the app since morning when the apps started showing up on Android and iOS app stores. While a lot of these errors could be due to UPI, we’re hoping Google will iron out the kinks by the end of this week. To create a payments app at this scale, it really needs a lot more than just good UX.