Google has launched a mobile payments app in India that will work on both Android and Apple smartphones.
Tez allows users to make money transfers to each other and to buy goods from physical stores and mobile websites.
It is based on the country’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) standard – a government-backed system launched last year to encourage digital payments.
But it will have to compete with PayTM, a popular local mobile wallet system.
PayTM – which is part-owned by Japan’s Softbank and China’s Alibaba – already has more than 200 million registered users in the country.
However, the rival systems work on a different basis.
Tez – which is Hindi for fast – transfers money from a user’s bank account directly to the recipient and thus acts as a replacement for a bank card, in a similar manner to Android Pay or Apple Pay.
By contrast, PayTM – which is an acronym for pay through mobile – involves first placing money into an “electronic wallet” before being able to use it to make cash-free payments. It launched in 2010 and has the benefit of already being widely adopted with several merchants offering discounts and cashback offers.
Google says that Tez works with all 55 banks that are already participating in UPI, including many of India’s largest lenders.
However, the Tech in Asia blog noted that the majority of India’s 150 eligible banks are yet to adopt UPI.
Other launch partners include Domino’s Pizza restaurants, Jet Airways, the RedBus transport network and PVR Cinemas – India’s biggest cinema chain.