|Initial release||August 17, 2017|
Tez was a mobile payments service by Google, targeted at users in India, later folded into the new Google Pay app on August 28, 2018. It operated atop the Unified Payments Interface, developed by the National Payments Corporation of India. It can be used where UPI payments are accepted. Tez worked on the vast majority of India's smartphones (with apps for both Android and iOS) with the Android app supporting English, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, and Telugu. There were plans to release the app in other emerging countries including Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand. "Tez" is the Hindi word for "Fast". Within 37 days after being launched, Tez got about 8.5 million installations. Over 30 million transactions were made on the app as of October 27, 2017.
Tez is currently accepted by PVR Cinemas, redBus, McDonald's, ACT Broadband, State government Electricity boards and is expected to be joined by a number of other businesses like Dish TV, Jet Airways and Domino's, Vi(Voda-idea), Swiggy, Zomato, Uber, Ola, Clubfactory, Zappfresh, Amazon, Flipkart and many more businesses. Google is also working with existing advertisers and online e-commerce platforms like Shopify and payment aggregators like BillDesk and PayU. Google also plans to add even more ways to pay on Tez (e.g., credit cards and wallets). Select phones from manufacturer partners Lava, Nokia Mobile, and Panasonic will come in with Tez preinstalled.
The application does not require users to share any personal information such as mobile numbers or usernames like other payment applications. Instead, it uses audio QR codes that rely on sound transmitted at a frequency inaudible to the human ear from the payee handset to the merchant handset. This technology does away with the need for NFC chips on the handsets, giving it an advantage because a significant number of smartphones in India and other developing markets do not have NFC chips embedded.