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Google’s Tez Rebrands To Google Pay, Expands Beyond India

Google’s Indian digital payment app Tez is getting an overhaul as the company plans an expansion into other areas of Asia.

According to news from TechCrunch on Tuesday (August 28), the Tez app is being rebranded Google Pay — the digital payment service Google operates in 20 countries. Additionally, Google aims to move Tez beyond its current offering, which includes bank-based payments, bill and utility payments and messaging. The company is reportedly expanding the service into both online and offline retail.

Currently, the service supports payments for around 20,000 apps and websites, such as Goibibo and redBus, it’s also gearing up to integrate with the likes of Uber and BookMyShow, the ticketing service. On the offline front, Google is reportedly adding in-store payment support with several brands, such as Big Bazaar, eZone and FBB.

The report noted Tez has accrued 55 million downloads and has facilitated 750 million transactions with an annual run rate of more than $30 billion. As a result of its successes, Google is setting its sights on international expansion.

In April, 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. 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 continued, with “similar characteristics” to India — low credit card penetration and limited access to near-field communications systems being the most attractive to the company. Scale is also important, as well as political support for mobile payments adoption.

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