Google’s Tez Mobile Payments App Adds a Chat Function

March 13, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Sometimes, all a good invention needs is a clock to make it even better. That was the prevailing wisdom for some time, and while it’s not always that cut-and-dried, there’s something to be said for a simple addition that brings that much more utility to a system. That’s somewhat what happened recently with Google’s Tez app, which is adding a chat option to a mobile payments platform.

The move is designed, reports suggest, to make it better able to compete with WhatsApp, one of the leading mobile messaging apps in the country that’s been working on adding its own mobile payments functions.

Tez, meanwhile, works on India’s touted Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system, which will allow customers to not only send money to each other—the peer-to-peer system—but also, with the new chat function, allows customers to talk about that transaction. Everything from “Here’s the money to cover my cut of yesterday’s lunch” to “You still owe me $50, you thieving cheapskate.”

The chat function will be coming out gradually, reports note, and everyone using Tez should have access to the service fairly soon. Google is planning to make it so that sending cash is ultimately as easy as sending messages, and by having the two functions together in the same place, demonstrating the rapidity of that function will be fairly easy. Users will even be able to track transaction history in much the same way they track chat history now, reports suggest.

Considering that Tez has to go up against an established competitor in WhatsApp, being able to demonstrate its speed and capability in the open market will be paramount to getting users in the door. That established competitor is going to be a serious problem for Tez’s overall reach in the market; after all, why would anyone leave WhatsApp for Tez when WhatsApp already does pretty much everything that Tez would do?

Still, this shows the ongoing importance of peer-to-peer in the mobile payments space; pretty much ever since Venmo showed the incredible return in such a field, hosts of others have been trying to get in on the action. Hopefully Tez will be able to find its footing in the increasingly-competitive Indian mobile payments market.