Google rebrands Indian payment app Tez for global rollout

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Tez, Google's payment app for the Indian market, is joining the Google Pay family in preparation for a global rollout.

Tez was built to serve the Indian market, but with a longer-term view of bringing many of its features to the global stage. These features include putting familiar contacts on the home screen and the one-touch mobile recharge. As part of the rebranding, Google will bring features to the app that it launched in other regions as well as provide greater merchant access to Indian consumers who had downloaded the Tez app.

“We have learnt that when we build for India, we build for the world, and we believe that many of the innovations and features we have pioneered with Tez will work globally,” said Caesar Sengupta, Google's general manager of payments and its Next Billion Users Initiative, in a company blog post.

Google launched Tez in September 2017, targeting the over 300 million smartphones in the Indian market. The purpose of the app was to deliver three primary functions: Make cash-like payments with Cash Mode which uses its proprietary Audio QR (AQR) technology; leverage phone contacts like a chat app make sending money easy; and pay online and offline business.

Since its launch a year ago, Tez has built a following of 22 million active users, defined as those who conduct a transaction at least once per month. Altogether, the app’s users have made over 750 million transactions worth almost $30 billion annually. Currently there are 1.2 million Indian local businesses accepting Google Pay.

Google is also building a dedicated merchant experience to help businesses grow and be discovered through Google Search and Maps and communicate with their customers through messages and offers. These features are currently being tested with merchants in Bangalore and Delhi, and Google will add more locations in the coming months.

Google stated that its mission for the app is to focus on financial inclusion. In an effort to deliver on this mission, it’s partnering with banks such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Federal Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank to facilitate pre-approved loans within Google Pay. The loans will be streamlined for acceptance within Google Pay, and once accepted by the customer, the funds will be instantly deposited into their bank account.

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