Google is planning to expand its mobile payments platform Tez beyond India in the near future.
Diana Layfield, head of Tez and vice-president of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative, told the Financial Times that there is a shortlist of three Asian markets and one other market country for Tez’s next launch.
Tez launched in September 2017 to compete with mobile payment giants Alibaba and Paytm. It connects directly to a user’s bank account and works with the United Payments Interface, so it integrates with any bank in the region that supports UPI.
In addition to sending money, there’s Tez Shield, an always-active security feature designed to prevent fraud or hacking, as well as Tez Scratch Cards, which offers all Tez users the chance to win up to 1,000 rupees per week, or 100,000 rupees on “lucky Sundays.”
Tez now has 14 million customers in India, and expansion into new markets “very much depends on how conversations progress in the next few months and our ability to really focus resources on it, but we’ll certainly be working on it this year,” said Layfield.
Layfield revealed that the company initially looked across Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, the markets identified by the Next Billion Users initiative.
“We designed it for India first, but we were very much thinking about global market growth users,” Layfield said. “We have learned a huge amount about user interface design for payments systems. It would still need to be tweaked [for other markets] but there are some big common threads around simplicity” and the design of payment interfaces. “I think those things are hugely powerful and would be beneficial in other countries.”
Layfield said that countries with “similar characteristics” to India — low credit card penetration and limited access to near-field communications systems — are the most attractive to the company. Scale is also important, as well as political support for mobile payments adoption.