Google has unveiled mobile payment app Tez in India, allowing users to transfer money to one another and buy goods from physical shops and mobile websites.
The app will work on both Android and Apple smartphones and is based on India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) standard, a government-backed system launched last year to encourage digital payments.
Tez could have major implications in the ticketing sector in India as it allows direct transfers from banks accounts, which could be a useful tool in the resale market.
The app will be competing with Paytm, an Indian online payment commerce company, which has already invested in the ticketing industry in the country. Paytm works differently to Tez as it involves placing money into an electronic wallet before being able to use it to make cash-free payments.
While Tez could be the more attractive system, Paytm, which is part-owed by Japan’s Softbank and China’s Alibaba – already has more than 200 million registered users in the country.
Tez has reportedly formed working relationships with all 55 banks that are participating in UPI, including many of India’s largest lenders. Tez has also partnered with Domino’s Pizza restaurants, Jet Airways, the RedBus transport network and PVR Cinemas – India’s biggest cinema chain.
As it stands, Google does not charge a service fee, though it has been speculated that it could introduce a profit-making function at a later date.
“It doesn’t cost you anything to use Tez, and your money stays in your bank so you continue to earn interest,” Google stated in its India blog. “And best of all, because Tez works directly with your bank account, there’s no need to top up a wallet balance or pay fees to get money out.”