Google has taken a big step in strengthening its services’ ecosystem in India. After collaborating with the Indian government for various projects including free Wi-Fi and others, the global tech giant has launched an “India first” digital payments app called Tez, meaning fast in Hindi. The app was launhced in collaboration with the National Payments Corporation of India. The app is available for both Android and iOS users, and is free to transact on if you are a customer or a small business. Here’s a quick summary of what you get with the new UPI-enabled payments app from Google at launch.
Unlike Paytm or Mobikwik, Tez is not a wallet. This means it will not store your money on the Tez account ever. Instead, all your transactions will be go directly through your bank accounts. So if you receive money through someone using Tez, it will be credited to your bank account instead of an app wallet.
You can only link your bank accounts using UPI as of now. Once you select the bank of your choice, your account details will be brought up automatically since the app looks for UPI accounts associated with your phone number. You cannot add credit or debit cards for payments currently, but Google says the functionality is coming soon.
Google Tez works by setting up a Google PIN, a UPI ID and a UPI PIN for you when you first install the app. After you link your bank account to the app, (you can link multiple accounts) you just need to input your UPI password to authenticate transactions each time.
You can send or receive payments from anyone who has the Tez app for now. The app automatically detects which of your contacts are using the app and you have an option to simply select that contact from a list to make payments using UPI or even an account number and IFSC code. Tez may soon add a Pay by Aaadhaar feature and Google is in talks with NPCI to understand the parameters of the same. Integration with other mobile wallets is also coming soon.
The 'Cash Mode' on the Google Tez app uses ultrasonic audio to pair with another Tez user nearby. This allows the sender and receiver to exchange money without giving out their bank or UPI details. To use the Cash Mode, both parties need to be present close to each other and enable the receive/pay options on their respective devices.
The Google Tez app also works with certain businesses. For now, the functionality to pay businesses using Tez is enabled on PVR and redBus. Other online vendors like Dish TV, Dominoes and Jet airways will be added in the next few weeks. Only the business you transact with will appear as a tile or an icon in the ‘businesses’ section of your app. The ability to transact with offline businesses will be announced in the next few months.
The Tez app offers Chrome web payments integration. This means that online businesses can just integrate the payments API to their business and start receiving payments. For users, Chrome will not redirect you outside the browser to complete payments made using Tez. Instead, the process will be completed within the Chrome app itself. The ability to pay for apps on Play Store using Tez will also be added in the future, says Google.
Tez is currently available in English, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Gujarati. Selecting any one of the languages changes the entire app UI to that language. More Indian languages will be added to the app going forward.
All transactions, past or present, can be viewed in the form of a chat or a conversation within the Tez app. Users can also interact with businesses and vice versa to improve their consumer feedback processes or roll-out exclusive offers.
Google Tez can process payments across 50 UPI enabled banks thanks to the company's partnership with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and SBI.
Lastly, Google has a bunch of offers to help engage new customers including a referral scheme, a chance to win Rs 1000 for every Rs 50 or above transaction, and a weekly Lucky Sundays draw for a chance to win Rs 1 lakh.