A mobile payments service has been launched by Google in India. The mobile payments service, known as Tez, has been unveiled at a time when India is emerging as one of the world’s fastest-growing markets with regards to smartphones.
“Tez was built for India first – and starts us on a journey to make digital payments simpler and more accessible to everyone,” said Caesar Sengupta, Google’s Next Billion Users initiative vice president, in a statement.
Silicon Valley titans
In India’s digital payments space which is growing exponentially, Google will be joining Facebook and Amazon who have already launched their own services. A report by the Boston Consultancy Group estimate that the digital payments sector in India will be valued at approximately $500 billion in three years.
According to Google, Tez, which is Hindi for fast, works on the UPI – Unified Payment Interface. This is an online payment system that is instant and consequently allows quick money transfers to be made between accounts by users. The system is supported by 55 banks and this includes ICICI Bank and State Bank of India. It is also compatible with Apple’s iOS and Android OS.
Google’s vice president in India, Rajan Anandan, expects the number of Indians online to increase to 650 million by 2019. According to Anandan the number of Indian’s shopping online will rise to 150 million in three years. Currently the figure is about 70 million. Digital payments in the world’s second most populous country rose dramatically after the cash recall by the government where high-denomination notes of 1,000 rupees and 500 rupees were being taken out of circulation. These notes constituted about 86% of the bank notes in the country and the move was aimed at getting rid of unaccounted money.
In India’s digital payments ecosystem the market leader is Paytm which is backed by Alibaba Group. Currently more than 50% of the mobile wallets in India are will Paytm. Facebook and Amazon also have plans for this market. Earlier in the year Facebook-owned WhatsApp announced a recruitment drive for a digital transactions lead. Amazon also managed to get a license from the central bank in India allowing it to start a digital wallet.
In the last couple of years India has emerged as a key market for Google as most of its products such as Maps, Android OS and search engine are market leaders. Among the native languages in India that the Tez service will support include Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Gujarati, Bengali and Hindi.