Google unveils Tez, a secure mobile payment system for India
Google has unveiled a new mobile payments system for its growing Indian customer base called Tez that attempts to work with the country's growing UPI standard to reach millions of customers overnight.
Long rumored to be developing a custom mobile payment solution for the unique demands of the Indian market, which is largely made up of inexpensive Android phones without NFC (precluding the use of Android Pay and other like services), Tez uses the UPI standard that has already been adopted by over 50 banks throughout the country.
Tez, which is also available for iOS on day one, links one or more bank accounts to a user's phone, allowing him or her to pay in-store and send money directly to other people. There's built-in two-factor authentication, too, so users don't have to fear being scammed.
While Google is working with merchants like redBus and Domino's to allow for payments of products and services, it has also unveiled an API that will allow all merchants to support Tez down the road. Tez also has a gamified section called Scratch Cards that allow users to randomly win money whenever they use the service.
Finally, Tez supports most major Indian languages, including English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
It's unclear whether users pay fees to use the service, or whether merchants will eat the costs similar to hosting credit card terminals, but Google clearly intends for this to be a very consumer-friendly product, so it may be subsidizing some of those costs for merchants at the beginning.
While Tez is only launching in India today, Google may be bringing the service to other countries in Asia, like Indonesia and Philippines, according to Techcrunch.
Do you plan to use Tez in India? Let us know in the comments below!
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Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central.