Google’s new Tez app uses sound to revolutionize money transfer in India
Tez app – Google has launched a new payment app in the Indian market called Tez (Hindi word for “fast”). The Tez app features the tech known as audio QR that lets users send money to one another by using sounds to pair two devices. Known as the “cash mode option,” the two phones form a connection using audio to identify the payer and receiver. (The sounds wouldn’t be audible to our ears as they’re apparently sent on ultrasonic frequencies) This makes the feature similar to cash transactions where personal details like bank accounts and phone numbers are neither required nor exchanged. The best part could be that Cash Mode doesn’t require built-in NFC functionality and works with basically any phone with a mic, speaker, and the Tez app installed. Google’s Audio QR technology is notably similar to Chirp, which also uses ultrasonic audio to send encoded data.
There are roughly 300 million smartphone users in India with a majority being entry-level and mid-tier devices. Seeing as phones with NFC capability are still relatively rare and expensive, Tez could just be the perfect case of “right place at the right time”. Google Tez can be seen as a step beyond Android Pay mainly because it allows users to link payment services and apps from Indian banks and it works with every one of the country’s 55 banks on India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI).
UPI is a system developed in India that allows multiple bank accounts to be linked into a single mobile app and enables secure peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions. Bloomberg notes that digital transactions have surged after the Indian Government’s demonetization move banning high-value cash notes late last year.
How does the Tez App work?
Tez lets users carry out bank-to-bank payments and is protected by Tez Shield, Google’s data security platform that detects possible fraud and safeguards user identity. Tez behaves much like a chat app, using the contact list on your phone to keep transaction history organized. Google says that People or businesses you’ve sent money to or have received money from are grouped together “like any other conversation,”.
Tez has the ripe opportunity to get into the vast Indian market not just through integration with almost every one of the nation’s major banks, but through its language support for English, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and Hindi. Making sending and receiving money via a new method easy for the vast majority to understand in their own language is by far Google Tez’s best quality, IMO.
Google says small businesses can also use the Tez app to accept payments from customers directly into their bank accounts, as well as accepting payments from mobile sites with “just a few taps.” Tez is available for both Android and iOS, and Google plans to launch the app in other emerging & transforming economies including Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.