Google has joined the Indian bandwagon of digital payment with the launch of “Tez”, which is a UPI (Unified Payments Interface) based payment service. The foraying of the payment space by the internet giant Google has been via partnerships with four banks – ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and State Bank of India (SBI). The first three banks have already gone live, while SBI is supposed to follow suit. There will be seven Indian languages compatible with Tez, which includes Marathi and Bengali.
Google’s VP, Caesar Sengupta said that Tez is tailor made for India’s payment ecosystem. He further added that payment will be an area where India can be leapfrogging the West. “Tez has been made for India and will make payments as simple as cash,” said Sengupta.
A feature that has been launched by Google involves the facility to make payments without sharing phone numbers or bank details. This facility is called a Cash Mode which Google states is completely secure and used on bank to bank transfer platform of UPI. The technology used here is known as QR Code that uses ultrasound wave by connecting two phones via speaker and microphone of the phone and works similarly to Near Field Communication.
Google’s vice president, South East Asia and India, Rajan Anandan said the access to smartphones today is 300 million and India embraces the internet such a way that could not have been thought of before.
“Over 650 million are expected to use the Internet by 2020 and Google’s mission is to provide Internet for everyone,” said Anandan.
The government of India is pushing for digital payment, especially after the demonetization in November 2016. The government estimates that the potential of the digital economy in India can eclipse $1 trillion within the next few years.
The bank transfer, is still time consuming in India. For first time transactions, it can take up to 24 hours for the funds to get transferred to the recipient. This can be eased out with the help of Tez that promises instant transfers.
The payments made through the Tez platform will be received directly via the app and the consumer transactions in the businesses will be able to use the feature of no spamming.