Google sees the different needs and expectations of a developing market like India as against those of developed markets like the USA and EU. Which is why Google is reportedly planning to introduce a localized digital payment service, according to a report from The Ken. This launch could be as soon as the coming Monday, partly explaining Google’s hesitance in releasing Android Pay in the country at the time when it could have benefited the most.
Google “Tez”, meaning fast/quick in Hindi and Urdu, will reportedly aim to provide a comprehensive set of payment options, going beyond Google offerings like Android Pay and Google Wallet. Tez will include support for Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a payment platform backed by the Government of India which supports instant money transfer between two bank accounts through mobile phone (smart or otherwise). Tez will also feature support for other consumer payment services like Paytm and MobiKwik, which should help give it the edge against the various other offerings from banks that also support UPI.
The Ken‘s report comes through its sources, but they mention of government filings that show that Google is indeed planning to release a product named Tez in India. Google has also registered trademarks for Tez in Indonesia and Philippines, so the service will likely expand to other markets beyond India.
Google’s investment in India continues on with Tez, following up on other initiatives like Google WiFi across popular railway stations, data-optimized version of YouTube and even a budget-phone optimized version of Android. It will be interesting to see how the consumers and competitors react to Google’s upcoming service, and whether Google would be successful in swaying adoption towards cashless mediums of exchange in India. Google also has its job cut out in ensuring parity across Tez and Android Pay, unless they wish to end up with a fragmented portfolio of products like Google Allo-Hangouts-Messages.