Google, with an aim to target the Indian user, has reportedly decided to introduce a new payment service called ‘Tez’ in the country. According to a report in The Ken, the tech giant will start a payments service similar to Paytm and Bhim in India. The report says that the service will be available from September 18. It is interesting to note that Google already has two similar features available, that includes Android Pay and Google Wallet. However, Google Tez will support Unified Payments Interface. UPI is a payment system supported by the Indian government. It is backed by National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India. Users will be able to transfer funds instantly between two bank accounts using just a smartphone. Meanwhile, TechCrunch said that Google has declined to comment on the move.
This move by Google, to introduce a UPI based payments service is a major deal since it has not really expanded into the segment, other than the US. After the demonetisation move by PM Narendra Modi in 2016, where the government pushed for a digital economy by banning high-value currencies, there has been a massive surge in the online payments sector. From WhatsApp to Flipkart, all major tech majors have shown interest in getting a UPI based payments system in India. But if Google actually ventures into this space, it will be a huge move since it has a strong consumer presence in the country. With a growing internet user base and a surge in data usage in the country, Google’s move can be a masterstroke.
In the report in The Ken says that there are government filings which indicate Google’s plans to roll out a product called Tez in India. It cited Google Inc’s application for ‘Tez’ in the Controller General of Patents, Design and Trademarks. The report adds that it may also expand to countries like Philippines and Indonesia as it has the same trademarks there too.
Google has been making a series of moves to expand its market in India, especially with its new Next Billion Users (NBU) program. Latest moves by Google in the country, include WiFi at major railway stations, YouTube Lite, Android Go and Android One.