Monday, 25 September 2017

Google enters India’s digital payments space with Tez

BHIM Aadhaar enables fingerprint banking, a better tech than UPI

India’s digital payments industry is possibly the world’s fastest-growing technology adoption. Since the controversial and brave move of demonetisation, large transactions in cash are looked down upon with the eye of suspicion. Going cashless has made a trillion dollar opportunity for payment banks namely PayTM, Airtel and India Post. With the launch of BHIM, the question of interoperability of payments has come to close. BHIM is amongst the most downloaded app on Play Store and iOS platforms. It has recorded more than 7 million transactions with an epic rise of 240% in volume.

Google is already late to India’s payment business. But India is fortunate enough to get technological support in its cashless mission from the likes of Google. Recently, IT ministry has requested major mobile manufacturers to preload applications for digital payments in India. This could be a big opportunity for homegrown BHIM and Google Tez. Google says in less than 24 hours of launch its payment app Tez has over 500k users and its GMV index was close to Rs 2 crores. It provides promising features which are in line with the requirements. It is multilingual and covers many major languages. It is too early to say whether it can be a game changer as evolution in this business is going to continue, but yes it has the capabilities to bring some disruption as of now.

Google Tez was launched by Arun Jaitley in an event in New Delhi. Google Tez runs on United Payments Interface, a product of National Payments Corporation of India. UPI is virtual payment address. For instance, rather than remembering lengthy bank account number, IFSC code, all you have to enter is beneficiary’s Aadhaar registered mobile number. If not available, one can even create secondary UPI address. Mine is theindiancapitalist@upi. To compete PayTM and Google Tez, WhatsApp has also released a beta for UPI enabled payments through chats.

Let’s say you want to pay at a random store where you don’t want to share your mobile number or bank details for payments, Tez does the work with a click. It enables cash mode which uses Audio QR technology. Like BHIM, Google is eyeing its Tez for the masses. The app weighs just 7MB and runs on devices above Android KitKat and iOS 8.0. India’s payment space is already disrupted. is of an opinion that we should look beyond phones when it comes to payments. Why use phones for payments when all you need is a fingerprint. It’s time when the government acts as an aggregator for all payments solution. India has been in the forefront in financial innovation. Fintech analysts are affirmative that India can show the solution to the world.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

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