Google's Tez adds chat feature to app, is all set to lock horns with WhatsApp Pay

7th Mar 2018
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The Google-backed payment application Tez, which was launched in India last year, is now adding a chat option for its users. The payment app, which is based on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), will now have its interface suitable for users to be able to interact with each other on the transaction box.

"Tez uses your phone's contact list so there's no need to add people as beneficiaries or remember complicated bank numbers. This makes it easy and quick to transact with people you know. So sending money to your family across the country, paying your landlord, or splitting a bill with a friend is simple and fast," said a statement from Google on the same.

However, this latest feature is not available for all the 13.5 million active users of the app, since Google is gradually releasing it.

It looks like the feature will help the users keep a track of the transactions along with the history of the conversations, which would amplify the experience of the users, and, consequently, add value to the app. Further, one's transaction history with each person or business is grouped together like a conversation — just as chat apps group messages together. This experience feels natural and enables richer, more engaging interactions.

Tez was launched in September 2017 and Google claims that, as of December 5, 2017, the app had 12 million active users and had processed over 140 million transactions. Not just that, Google has already introduced some cool tech innovations in Tez, like the AudioQR, which uses ultrasonic sounds to transfer money between two phones that have the app. The tech giant is set to add geo-based functionalities.

The long-term goal for the company is to help users discover merchants in the locality who are Tez-enabled.

WhatsApp Pay is considered to be one of the biggest competitors for Google Tez. The 'Payment' tab available in the attachment option, along with the other usual options of Documents, Gallery, Audio, Location and Contact, is WhatsApp's own corresponding transaction feather in the cap. An estimated base of more than 200 million Indian users makes WhatsApp, which makes it an extremely strong competitor in the segment.

Recently, WhatsApp had also launched its standalone business app, WhatsApp Business, globally.

Another interesting point is that Indian payment companies have invested in localisation. Indian payments leader Paytm claims to be operating in 10 local languages and so does PhonePe. PhonePe already claims that close to 20 percent of their users are using languages other than English. For WhatsApp, this target base might be even bigger.

With inputs from Tarush Bhalla

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