Google has launched Tez, a mobile payments app which utilises India's Unified Payments Interface to enable smartphone users to send money to each other and pay for goods and services both offline and online.
Made for India, Tez works on the vast majority of smartphones with apps for both Android and iOS and support for English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
When using Tez, funds are drawn directly from accounts of the 55 banks in India connected to the country's UPI standard.
Google says its aim is to replace cash by emulating the ubiquity of notes and coins for all forms of transacting, from splitting the bill with friends to paying for purchases at online and high street merchants. For P2P cash transfers Tez introduces a feature dubbed 'Cash Mode', which uses the tech giant's proprietary audio QR tech to enable proximity payments without the need to share personal bank details or phone numbers.
For businesses, Google is promising to open a customised in-app business channel, though which merchants will be able to engage customers directly by sending smart reminders for recurring payments, sharing tailored offers, loyalty programmes and discounting.
"But this is just the beginning,", says Google. "In the next few weeks and months we’ll be working with our partners to add even more ways to pay on Tez (e.g. credit cards and wallets) and more places to pay. And select phones from our manufacturer partners Lava, Micromax, Nokia Mobile, and Panasonic will come with Tez, making it even easier to get started."
Available from today on Google Play and the App Store, the search giant says Tez " is just one step in a long and important journey towards enabling a cashless India".