Google has announced a new digital payments platform for India.
Called Tez, it’s designed to enable peer-to-peer payments, directly from one bank account to another; and it also features a “Cash Mode” that lets users make purchases without actually sharing personal bank account details or even their phone numbers. Small businesses can also take advantage of Tez, accepting mobile payments from customers directly into their accounts, while a new program called Tez for Business is designed to help merchants start accepting payments on their mobile sites, and to integrate their own Business Channels directly into the Tez app.
Announcing the new system in a blog post, Google asserted that it’s “[b]acked by Google’s expertise in data security and machine learning,” adding that its “Tez Shield” security system “works 24/7 and uses multiple signals to help detect spam, fraud, prevent hacking, and to verify and protect the identity of every user.” The company didn’t provide further details on Tez’s security elements, but did assert that the platform is built on India’s Unified Payments Interface standard, which is expected to support biometric authentication in its next major update.
Google’s introduction of Tez comes amid speculation that Apple will soon launch its own peer-to-peer payments service via its Messages platform, suggesting that the major tech companies are intensifying their exploration of the digital payments and commerce space.