Google Tez, the company’s ambitious effort to tap the country’s digital payments market, will come pre-installed on smartphones by several brands. This is part of an effort by the company to expand the reach of the new Google Tez app, which uses UPI to transfer money online. Smartphones by brands such as Nokia, Micromax, Lava, Panasonic, and Xolo will come with Google Tez app preloaded, and some of these companies, Lava for example, will also roll out the app on “most of their existing Android smartphones,” a Google representative told Gadgets 360.
Diana Layfield, VP of Google’s Next Billion programme said the company is open to conversation with more smartphone makers who would like to participate in this programme. Feature phones won’t be getting Tez app as UPI doesn’t work on such handsets, the executive said. However, this isn’t strictly true – NPCI had unveiled USSD-based framework at the time of the BHIM launch. The said framework is a bit buggy to be sure, failing as often as working.
The company’s intention is to extend the reach of Google Tez as soon as possible. In an unlikely move, the company is offering Tez Scratch Cards – vouchers with money – to customers to incentivise them to use its app. Mobile payments app is quickly getting crowded in India with Samsung, Paytm, BHIM, and MobiKwik aggressively competing with each other for market share.
Google’s Tez app is the first payments app from the company for the Indian market. The company said its app has been simplified to a level that it can convince users to ditch cash, the most popular payment method in the country.
The company executive also said that Android Pay won’t be coming very soon to India. “There are many challenges with Android Pay right now and we are trying to sort them out,” Layfield said. The executives said the focus is on Tez at present.