Google announced a new mobile app for payments for India as the company continues with its mission of ingratiating itself with the world’s next billion users of Internet across the South Asia country.
Available both on Android as well as iOS, the new Tez app can be used to pay local merchants, friends or even sellers online.
The system is built on the country’s Unified Payments Interface or UPI that is basically a method for banks to make money transfers to one another instantly and directly based upon one identifier, thus being able to bypass the need to use a billing processor.
Tez has been designed to replace all cash transactions at some point.
India is now one of the main focal points of tech firms from the West, with Apple committing to sell its iPhones that are being made in Bengaluru, Intel investing $178 million in a facility in India that will be its new smart and green research and development location, Facebook now appearing to be more interested, and Amazon about to open its first AWS data center located in Mumbai.
Google has continued its “all-in” on India as it is targeting new as well as existing users of Internet with a number of different initiatives that includes the launch of WiFi hotspots for the public and a YouTube offline-first app.
It beat Spotify as well in launching its service of music streaming during April in India.
India has lagged in adopting internet and smartphone usage compared to many markets, but last year had over 300 million users of smartphones, a figure that will only grow in a nation that has a 1.3 billion population.
Because of that, tech companies are making concerted efforts to have more people online and using services they offer.
Some countries in the West, like Sweden, are nearing a state of being cashless, but coins and paper remain the popular form of payment in India, something Google hopes to address with the new app Tez.
Google might be hoping it can compete with cash however the company recognizes as well the benefits of there being cash. Cash allows one to pay for things without the person or business receiving the payment learning your personal data.
Keeping that in mind, the new Tez (Hindi for fast) app offers a cash mode when transactions are local peer-to-peer or P2P.
Activating that allows the user to pay without sharing any private information, such as bank accounts or phone numbers, but can only be used when paying a person or merchant who is using Tez as well.