Since launching India-first payments app Google Tez last September, over 22 million people and businesses have used Tez to make over 750 million transactions that are collectively worth over $30 billion annually. To take Tez beyond India, Google has announced to unify all of Google’s payment offerings globally and as a first step, Tez will now be called Google Pay.
Apart from the name, the app is staying the same with all the features and functions. In the coming weeks, Google will be making Google Pay even more useful by increasing the number of places you can use it in, expanding services for merchants, and working with banks to provide instant loans to Google Pay users.
Tez (now Google Pay) is not a digital wallet requiring constant top up like in PayTM’s wallet that needs to be topped up to use the money. Instead, the app works with all 50+ UPI-enabled banks, so that money stays in users’ bank accounts until they need to use it. For money transfers, there is a limit of Rs 1,00,000 in one day across all UPI apps, and users can make 20 transfers in a day.
Built on the Indian government-supported Unified Payments Interface (UPI), the app allows users, free of charge, to make small or big payments straight from their bank accounts. The app will roll out in seven more languages Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu in the coming weeks. Tez works in partnership with four Banks — Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, and State Bank of India (SBI) — to facilitate the processing of payments across over 50 UPI enabled banks.
The app’s Cash Mode feature securely sends money from person to person with just a few taps. By pressing and holding the Cash Mode buttons at the same time, two people using Tez are able to make a secure transaction in seconds without needing to share private details like phone numbers or account numbers. The cash mode feature relies on Google’s proprietary Audio QR (AQR) ultrasound technology.
Tez syncs with the contact list in users’ phones, in accordance with their privacy settings. This allows users to start a transaction just by searching for a friend’s name or phone number. Once a contact is on Tez, users do not have to add beneficiaries or enter bank account number and IFSC codes. If the other person is not on Tez or in the phone contact list, then users can still pay them with their bank account number or UPI ID. Transaction history with each person is grouped together like a conversation — just like how Gmail groups emails together. This makes it easier to find a particular transaction, instead of going through long statements.
The digital payment app is accepted anywhere where UPI is accepted -- even shopping at the corner store or buying online and is backed by multiple security levels, including dedicated security systems offered by Indian banks, the NPCI, and the Tez Shield -- Google’s suite of security features, including a machine-learning-based fraud detection engine, device level protection, including a Google PIN, and no sharing of phone numbers or bank account numbers via Cash Mode. Customer service is available 24/7.