Google Tez payments app goes Live for Android and iOS, here’s how it works
Google is finally joining the digital payments ecosystem in India. Incidentally, it is not Android Pay, a solution that the company offers on Android phones in many countries, but a customized-for-India-app called Tez—which means “fast’ in English, suggesting that speed with which you can make payments will be the key. The Tez app is now live on the Google Play Store for Android phones and the Apple App Store for iPhones.
For the Tez app, Google has on board banks that support the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The government has been pushing the UPI platform to boost digital payments in India, to reduce use of cash.
You will be able to use the Tez app in seven languages—Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
For making payments, you can either pay someone using their UPI capable bank account through the Tez app, or use a UPI ID, scan a QR code or pay using a friend’s phone number. However, both parties need to have a bank account linked to the Tez app.
The app also has a proximity- and location-based Cash Mode, which lets you send money to a nearby contact without either party having to share their bank accounts and contact details—perhaps as simple as paying cash, but without any paper notes. This uses a unique sound signature to pair with a nearby phone, an audio QR code , and make the payment.
The banks on board include HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, State Bank of India, Airtel Payments Bank, Citibank, HSBC and a host of other public sector banks. When you wish to add a bank account to the Tez app, you select the bank where your account is, and Tez app will ask for a confirmation that it will send an SMS from your phone to verify your number with the bank. Once the SMS is sent, the app seamlessly detects the bank accounts linked with that mobile number (even more than one, if you have multiple accounts). Select any bank account that you wish to use with Tez, and you are ready to make and receive payments directly via the account.
What the Google Tez app cannot be classified as is a mobile wallet, on the lines of Paytm or Mobikwik, for instance. By definition, a mobile wallet app allows you to add some money to the “wallet”, to enable making payments at physical or online stores or for making bill payments—this is more of a convenience aspect. However, Tez is a payments app, where you link your bank account with the app and pay directly from the account. You cannot add money to any “wallet” in the Google Tez app. You will be able to use Tez to make payments at offline stores, online platforms and do person-to-person money transfers.
As with other UPI apps, Google Tez is also dictated by the same set of guidelines—you are limited to sending Rs1 lakh per day, with a maximum limit of 20 transactions per day. However, your bank might have its own set of restrictions, depending on various factors.
Security remains a critical element of any payments app, and Google Tez uses multiple layers of authentication. First, you need to set a Google PIN, for accessing the app every time. Subsequently, the UPI payment will have its second layer of authentication, to prevent unauthorized access. There are also the bank security protocols that are working in the background, and Google says they are also attentive towards fraud detection. However, as a user, the basic security rules of online security still should be followed, including not sharing passwords and PINs with anyone.