Google for India: Tez becomes Google Pay And Aims to Expand it Globally

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Google hosted the fourth edition of its annual ‘Google for India’ event in New Delhi on Tuesday. The company announced Google Tez will now be rebranded to Google Pay. This event showcases Google’s efforts in the country, and also gives a glimpse at initiatives and features developed with Indian users in mind.

Google launched its Tez payment app in India a year ago, and now it is giving the service major push into retail as it prepares to expand it to other parts of Asia and beyond.

Rich interactions are coming to Google Pay, and Google aims to empower 150,000 retail stores in India to use Google Pay by Diwali 2018. Additionally, businesses and merchants can now pay for Google Ads using Google Pay. Google claims that over 1.2 million small businesses in India are already using Google Tez (now Google Pay). Google is plotting to turn Google Pay into an all-encompassing payment app for India.

It is believed that the rebranding is essentially to streamline the company’s payment offerings. Besides the change in name, the app is the same as before. Google has however said that in the coming weeks and months, Pay’s functionalities will be expanded to “places users can pay in-store and online, expanding services for merchants, and working with the banks to provide instant loans to Google Pay users.

The service already supports payments with some 2,000 apps and websites, including Goibibo and RedBus, but it is adding to that number and planning ‘deep’ integration with partners such as Uber and ticketing service BookMyshow. Google is also focusing on offline, and it said it is in the process of adding in-store payment support with a range of retail brands that will include Big Bazaar, e-Zone, and FBB.

Tez competes with dedicated payment services like Paytm and Mobikwik, and also WhatsApp but has struggled to win approval to launch an upcoming payment service due to concerns around its lack of a local office. Google’s service has made progress. The Tez app has pulled in 55 million downloads, and Google said it has racked up 750 million transactions with an annual run rate of over $30 billion.

Finally, Google also plans to expand Google Pay overseas. Taking the India-based service into new parts of Asia, which will require plenty of localization since the Indian version is heavily based around the country’s UPI payment system. Whether the step is in the right direction or not, have to wait and see.