India continues to show signs of becoming a major market for the tech industry despite challenges related to the relative lack of wealth and Google is working hard to capitalize on that growth. The latest move from Google involves a mobile payment platform that is localized for India going by the name Google Tez, which means “fast” in India. Google Tez will be a new platform joining Google Wallet and Android Pay.
According to sources, Google Tez will do something the other solutions lack – support the Unified Payments Interface, or UPI, that is backed by the Indian government. In addition, services like Paytm and MobiKwik also support UPI which should help Google broaden the reach of the product.
One of the challenges any tech company has that tries to enter the Indian market is pricing and making products available that citizens can afford. India is part of an area Google has targeted in a program called Next Billion Users (NBU). NBU includes initiatives like free, public WiFi in train stations, a data-optimized version of YouTube, Android One devices and operating system and the Android Go operating system.
Those moves come as India has emerged as the second largest phone market in the world and with digital payments in India expected to grow to $500 billion by 2020. Even though individual payments may be small, there are a lot of them that will be occurring and Google no doubt wants to get their cut – which could add up quickly – by being part of the ecosystem used by Indians.
Sources researching Google’s plans for Tez, which could be revealed as soon as next week, say Tez may not be limited to India. Google has registered trademarks for Tez in both Indonesia and the Philippines along with India.