Google Tez app for mobile payments launched, offers users Rs 9,000 per year as reward
Hours before its formal unveiling, Google Tez, a new payment app specifically made for India, is available in the Google Play store. Tez is Google’s payment app for India, which uses the UPI interface to connect to a user’s bank account and for transactions. The app, which is going to go head to head versus the popular apps like Paytm and BHIM, may give Google a share of India’s growing e-payments market. Although before Tez could be called a success, it will have to overcome challenges that are specific to India’s e-payment market.
Update: Tez app formally launched. Currently, Tez supports 55 Indian banks including popular ones like the ICICI Bank, State Bank of India and HDFC Bank.The app is available in English as well as in seven other Indian regional languages. It is for now available for both iOS (read iPhone) and Android.Read more ↓
Although there are a number of other UPI-based apps in India right now, Google is offering several new features in Tez, including “proximity” transactions that allow people to carry out “cash” transactions without revealing their phone number or bank account.
Tez will be formally launched in a few hours from now at an event in New Delhi. The app is likely to be unveiled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“Send money home to your family, split a dinner bill with friends, or pay the neighbourhood chaiwala. Make all payments big or small, directly from your bank account with Tez, Google’s new digital payment app for India,” writes Google in describing app.
The app allows users to make the payments through 3 modes. One is the through UPI ID, which is part of the government of India UPI interface. If you know the iD of a receiver you can simply input that and make the payment. The second way to pay is through a QR code, which a user will be able to scan and make the relevant payment. This will probably work similar to how the Paytm QR code scanning payment works. Finally, there is option to pay by using the phone number. This again probably works similar to how the Paytm phone number payment works.
In addition to the three modes, Google has built another mode, which is especial to Tez. This is called “cash” mode and it uses proximity. The way Google describes it, the Cash mode will allow two users to exchange money if they have the phones in close proximity. Just tap the “Cash” button in the Tez app and then follow the instructions. The phone uses proximity sensor and microphone to enable payment and it, in a way, works similar to how users share Bluetooth files.
While for the end-users, the app is called Tez, Google has also built a special version for businesses. This is called Tez for Business.
So far the app has been downloaded by a thousand odd people. The ratings for the app range from one star to five. Although people have liked the design of the app — it is a typical Google app, easy to use and designed with flat and classy material design — many are complaining that the app is not connecting to their bank accounts.
Google in a bid to push the app is offering referral rewards. It is asking users to refer the app to friends and if they sign and make a payment using it, you and your friend each will get Rs 51 reward. You can refer the app to as many people as you want although the maximum reward is limited to the Rs 9000. The referral offer, according to Google, will be valid until April 1, 2018.
Currently, India’s e-payment market is dominated by Paytm, even though government took has its own BHIM app, which too uses UPI interface. However, the Tez and Paytm are two very different apps. While Tez acts as a payment interface for UPI, Paytm is a wallet app. Apps like Tez use the money in a bank account to enable payments. Apps like Paytm require that users keep money in e-wallets for the payment.
Although the app looks quite great, it also seems fairly basic at the moment. It is not yet clear how many services the app will be able to support for payment and in what way. Any e-payment app is extremely dependent on third-party partners of the app. Google said that in the coming days it will be adding support for DTH payment to the Tez app. The company will also add support for debit and credit card to the Tez app, that will allow users to use the app to make payments using their credit card.
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