The Strategist

Google aims to turn India into a cashless society

09/20/2017 - 09:10

Google introduced Tez, a mobile payment application that uses the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). The technology allows smartphone users to send money to each other, as well as pay for goods and services both online and in traditional stores.

Developed specifically for India, Tez application is compatible with a large number of smartphones. It comes in Android and iOS versions, and supports languages such as English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.

Tez writes off cash directly from accounts opened in 55 Indian banks connected to UPI.

Representatives of Google argue that the company has set a goal to displace cash by modeling the availability of banknotes and coins for all types of transactions, starting with joint payment with friends, and ending with online purchases and stores in the central streets. P2P-transfers in the application use a special function Cash Mode based on the company's proprietary technology that uses QR-codes. This allows users to make contactless payments without the need to exchange bank details or phone numbers.

For legal entities, Google plans to open a dedicated embedded business channel. With this technology, TSPs can directly attract customers by sending them smart reminders of regular payments, providing information about specialized orders, loyalty programs and discounts.

"And this is just the beginning," say Google. - Over the next few months, together with our partners, we will work on adding new payment methods to Tez (for example, payment by credit cards, e-wallets), as well as increasing number of places where the application can be used. A number of specially selected phone models produced by our partners (Lava, Micromax, Nokia Mobile, and Panasonic) will be shipped with pre-installed Tez, which will further simplify introduction to the application. "

The app is available on Google Play and the App Store. At the same time, Google claims that Tez "is just a step on the long and important path to cashless India."

The Indian authorities are struggling to transform country into a cashless society, hoping that this will help combat corruption and money-laundering. Bitcoin has already gained some popularity in the country partly because of this. After the demonetization conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last November, the number of users of crypto currency increased, and now, according to several market participants, amounts to about 600 thousand people.

However, the Reserve Bank of India, which is very enthusiastic about implementing the blockchain technologies, previously expressed concerns about the risks associated with the use of bitcoin. Earlier, the executive director of the Reserve Bank of India, Sudarshan Sen said that the regulator was worried about what was happening with bitcoin, and that India might need its own crypto currency.