Google India on Monday announced a major update to its digital payments app, Tez which allows users to pay their utilities and other bills via the app. Launched in Sept 2017, Google Tez, only supported peer-to-peer payments via the national Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system, which allows for transactions directly between bank accounts, at no cost.
The app has gotten support to pay bills from more than 80 organizations — including national/state electric, gas and water and TV/internet services with more to be added soon. The new bill pay feature will include major utilities like Reliance Energy, BSES, and DishTV, and in total will cover all states and major metros in India.
The new update provides you a specially designed experience letting you pay your bills in seconds. Adding a new biller is a breeze, and you only have to do it once. Just tap on New Payment and then Pay your bills. You’ll see a list of billers supported on Tez across locations. You can also search for them by name. Once you’ve located your biller, enter the number associated with your account to link it to Tez and give it an easy name to remember.
For most recurring utility bills, Tez will fetch any new bill and send you a timely notification when it arrives. Checking whether you’ve paid a bill in the app is as simple as tapping the biller’s name on your Tez home screen. There, you’ll be able to view all past payments grouped by the biller, as well as manage bills from multiple accounts.
This will cancel out the need to keep multiple apps, remember multiple id’s and passwords and refilling online wallets.
Google Tez, already has 12 million users in December, which is a huge number achieved in a short span of 3 months. An updated figure is yet to be provided by the Mountain View Company.
“The rollout of bill payments on Tez comes with an exciting new offer, For every new biller you pay this month, you’ll get a scratch card that could win you up to ₹1000.”
“Today, we are adding a specially designed bill pay experience in Tez which will enable users to make a wide range of bill payments including electricity, water, gas, DTH, and insurance from the app. We hope that users will like the simplicity and time saving with the new bill pay experience on Tez,” said Diana Layfield, VP, Payments and Commerce, Next Billion Users.
Tez works with over 50 UPI-enabled banks, so that money stays in users’ bank accounts until they need to use it. Users continue to earn interest from their banks and have their deposits backed by bank security guarantees.s
The app is backed by multiple security levels, including dedicated security systems offered by Indian banks, the NPCI, and the Tez Shield – Google’s suite of security features, including a machine-learning-based fraud detection engine, device level protection, including a Google PIN, and no sharing of phone numbers or bank account numbers via Cash Mode.
The new update comes at a very critical time, WhatsApp, began rolling out peer-to-peer payments in the country and is used by more than 200 million people in India, which has potential to massively disrupt the status quo. Others in the field including, Paytm and MobiKwik, already include bill payment, peer-to-peer transfers and more.
Only time will tell if Google can beat out these companies in gathering a larger user base in the coming years, as the company estimates that digital payments in the country will hit $500 billion by 2020.