Google has launched a new payments app called Tez in India today, hence confirming the reports that were released last week. Tez uses Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and is supported by 55 banks, at the moment, including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, and State Bank of India, and so on. As of now, the app offers support for multiple Indian languages like Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu, thus making it convenient for its users in the country. Additionally, Tez can be used to make payments on websites like redBus, PVR Cinemas, Domino's Pizza, Dish TV, and Jet Airways, and so on. Being launched in a country where most of people still rely on cash transactions, Tez is looking to garner a decent number of users by incentivizing with Tez Scratch Cards that allow a user to win up to Rs. 1000 (~$15) with each transaction made using the app.
Unlike the popular mobile wallets in India, Tez seems to be developed more on the grounds of Google's own Android Pay. With Tez, payments are linked directly with your bank accounts, with no fees being deducted in the process, just make sure that you register to Tez using the same phone number that is linked to your bank account. You can send money directly to other people's bank accounts using Tez, if you have their UPI ID, phone number, or account number. If that person is sitting right next to you, you can also transact by either scanning a QR code or using the "Cash Mode", either of which doesn't require any personal details to be shared. The Cash Mode is built using Google's proprietary Audio QR (AQR) technology, and to use it, one person is required to swipe up on the Cash Mode button to make the payment, while the other one has to swipe down to receive the payment. Business owners and merchants can also use the Tez app by linking it with their savings or current accounts, but before that, they need to express their interests by filling in a form. Once that is approved, they will be able to create a custom business channel and send offers directly to their customers.
As for security, all transactions are secured with Tez Shield - a security measure that is built into the app and is constantly working to detect fraud and prevent hacking. Furthermore, each transaction requires you to enter your UPI PIN before it is completed, so you can be assured that no unauthorized transactions will be made, provided you don't share that PIN with anyone. You are required to secure your app either by using your device's screen lock - it can be a pattern, a PIN, a password, or your fingerprint - or by creating a Google PIN.
Google is planning on adding a number of other ways, like credit cards and mobile wallets, by which you can make payments on Tez in the near future. Additionally, some selected phones from certain original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Lava, Micromax, Nokia Mobile, and Panasonic, are said to be coming with Tez built-in. Since Google has already registered trademarks for the name "Tez" in other countries like Indonesia and the Philippines as well, the app is also expected to be launched in those countries soon.