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article imageReports: Google preparing 'Tez' mobile payments service for India

By James Walker     Sep 15, 2017 in Technology
Google's planning to launch a new mobile payments service in India, according to local reports. The platform could arrive as early as next week and will include more options than Google Wallet and Android Pay, the company's current payment solutions.
The app is called Tez which translates to mean "fast" in Hindi. Its existence was first reported by business news source The Ken. It said the app will arrive in India as soon as next Monday. Initial platform support will include mobile devices, desktops and the web.
Tez will be a localised payments service specific to India. It’s a response to the unique payments structure in the country. India has its own government-backed payments platform, UPI (Universal Payments Interface). This allows interoperability between different payment providers. Banks, mobile payment services, websites and businesses all communicate transactions through UPI.
UPI simplifies the implementation of new payment services. It's part of the reason why Android Pay hasn't yet launched in India. The mobile payments space is already developing there, facilitated by local apps and services such as Paytm. Tez is Google's attempt to enter the market with a product better suited to the realities of the Indian payments landscape.
There's good reason for Google to want in on India's mobile payments scene. The country is regarded by tech firms as one of the last major developing regions. Google wants to establish itself as an influencer in the region.
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A successful launch will allow it access to India's rapidly growing digital commerce sector, establishing a new revenue stream. Google already dominates smartphones in the country, giving it a convenient route into payments.
There are other factors too though. One of Google's biggest revenue sources is ads. A popular payments platform could allow it to build out its ad networks in India. As The Next Web points out, Google could monitor Tez to learn more about Indian web users. By watching where money is spent on Tez, Google could more precisely target ads to show products you're just about to buy.
Google's not the only firm interested in offering mobile payments to India. Facebook-owned WhatsApp is widely thought to be working on its own solution that will let users make transactions from within its app. Truecaller is also adding built-in payments to its app.
Globally, digital payments are surging in popularity. The trend is especially pronounced in India where the government is actively backing efforts to create a cashless society. Tez could be Google's route into this increasingly competitive space, ensuring it remains relevant in India's digital future.
More about Google, google tez, mobile payments, digital disruption, Payments
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