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Google Tez aims to revolutionize the digital payment landscape in India

Google Tez aims to make payments hassle-free. (Source: Google)
Google Tez aims to make payments hassle-free. (Source: Google)
Google has launched a new payment service, Tez, which enables fast payments without the need to share information such as bank account numbers, fund transfer codes, or even pair up mobiles by NFC. The new service is compatible with any Indian bank that supports the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

Google has forayed into the highly contested digital payments space in India with the launch of its new service, Tez. Tez, which means 'swift' in Hindi, lets users use their bank accounts for payments directly without the need to add the recipient as a beneficiary or fill up additional online wallets. It also comes with the added advantage of not needing NFC but instead, works using Google's own AudioQR technology.

The idea of Tez is to fully substitute conventional cash transactions with digital payments. With the incumbent Government pushing for digital transactions, the service couldn't have come at a better time. For Tez to function, users need to download the Tez app (obviously!) available on Android and iOS (sorry Windows Phone users) and link their bank accounts to the app. Supported banks include Axis Bank, HDFC, ICICI, State Bank of India, and many others that support the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) standard. UPI allows for instant transfer of money 24x7 but there is a cap of 100,000 (US$1558) or a maximum of 20 transactions per day. Google has also roped in online partners of the likes of RedBus, Jet Airways, Dominos etc. and customers can directly pay for these services using Tez. The app supports two-factor authentication and is currently available in 8 languages including English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. By employing AudioQR, Tez negates the need for NFC capabilities on phones. AudioQR works by using ultrasonic sound waves to pair up with another phone. This makes it instantly convenient for widespread usage. India has been traditionally dependent on paper currency for much of its transaction.

With Tez, Google hopes to tap into the 350 million user strong smartphone market in India and hopefully, expand to other Asian countries in the process as well. Right now, Tez is focused towards individuals and small merchants who will be essentially getting the service for free. Other businesses can get registered online to accept payments via Tez. It is not yet known how enterprises will be charged (if at all) for the service. 

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2017-09-18 (Update: 2017-09-19)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.