Google Tez was launched in India in September 2017 as a competitor to mobile payment platforms such as Paytm and Alibaba. Fast-forward to six months later and the app now has 14 million users. Based on its current success in the Indian market, Vice-President of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative and head of Tez, Diana Layfield stated that Google is looking to expand the platform beyond to other countries.
Despite the fact that the platform was launched specifically for users in India, Layfield stated that the app was designed with global market growth users in mind. She further elaborated that designing Tez also contributed to the team learning a lot about user interface design for payment systems. While adapting the platform to other countries would require some adjustments, Layfield said that there were a few common threads in terms of interface design that would be beneficial to other countries.
Currently, Google has narrowed down the expansion to three Asian countries and one emerging market country. Layfield stated that the initial plan was to launch the platform in Latin America, Africa and the Middle-East which were markets identified by the Next Billion Users initiative. However, Tez would be more attractive to countries that have characteristics similar to India, where credit card penetration is relatively low and access to near-field communications systems is limited. The launch date for the expansion is yet to be decided and is all dependent on how conversations on the matter progress.
Google Tez works using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and connects directly to the user’s bank account. Tez tied up with four of the country’s largest banks when it launched in India in an attempt to build a partnership with these banks rather than compete with them. The security features for Tez were designed in a way that protects the users’ accounts from hacking or any other fraudulent activity. Additionally, Tez gives its users scratch cards that give them a chance to win Rs.1,000 a week and Rs 1 lakh on “Lucky Sundays” when they transfer or receive money through the app.