At the latest edition of its Google for India event, Google announced key changes to its payment app built specifically for the Indian market, Tez. Google unveiled Tez in India last year, with the app built on the government's new digital payments framework, Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
Tez — along with a slew of similar UPI-based services by India's financial institutions — resulted in a massive uptick in UPI transactions, with Google noting that monthly transactions have shot up to over 230 million in the last 12 months. Tez alone handed $30 billion in transaction value, facilitating over 750 million transactions.
Google added bill payments to the service a few months after launch, making it easier for Indian customers to recharge their phones, pay broadband and utility bills, and even pay for Uber or Ola via Tez.
Starting today, Tez is being rebranded to Google Pay as Google unifies its strategy for payment services. As such, customers using Google Pay will be able to pay for online purchases — tickets on BookMyShow, flight bookings on GoIbibo, or buying phones on Mi.com — and over 15,000 retail stores across the country will accept the payments platform.
What made Tez endearing to its customers isn't going away either — in fact, Google's VP of product management Caesar Sengupta has mentioned that features from Tez will be making their way into Google Pay in other markets. It'll be interesting to see what features make their way over, but bill payments are a cornerstone of Tez and it's likely Google will be looking to bring the feature to other countries.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.