On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation. Reports suggest that 86% of the country’s currency in circulation was sucked out overnight and it triggered India’s biggest-ever cash crunch.
The biggest beneficiaries of demonetisation perhaps have been mobile wallet companies. With India currently having a smart phone user base of over 300 million and increasingly cheaper data plans – mobile wallets are doing very well.
Market leaders like Paytm, PhonePe, and the official app BHIM, named after Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar, have already established their presence in this market.
The latest entrant is Google’s Tez. Here is a look at some of its salient features:
1. The Google Tez app is available on Android as well as iOS and supports various local languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.
2. To register, you will need a mobile number associated with your bank account to set up the app. A list of banks is provided to choose from.
3. Once your phone number is registered with the app, an SMS is sent from your number to the bank to get Unified Payment Interface (UPI) access. A fresh UPI ID is created for you and linked to the Google account.
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4. A new UPI ID is created if you do not have one already. If you do, and it is linked to the bank, then you will be prompted to enter the UPI PIN. The account will be set up after this step and is ready to use.
5. To ensure that the app is secure there is an option of locking it down with your fingerprint on devices that have fingerprint scanners. Alternatively, you can use a PIN as well.
6. Unlike other mobile wallets, Google Tez does not require the user to store money in the wallet. One can pay directly from the bank linked to the app.
7. While most other apps occupy a lot of space on mobile devices, Google’s Tez is lite and uses up only 7MB.
8. This app will also connect customers to businesses. While the customer can choose which business to interact with, the customer also has the option of blocking a business. Google is currently in talks with companies like RedBus, Domino’s Pizza, Jet Airways, among many others.