Google Targets Four New Countries in Tez Mobile Payments Expansion

April 6, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Google Tez’s recent rollout has apparently proven reasonably effective, because new word has emerged from the Financial Times that Google’s planning an expansion already. In fact, reports suggest that the “shortlist” has already been established, and fully four nations are targeted for Google Tez’s next rollout, set to occur before the end of the year.

The reports suggest that three countries in Asia, and one emerging market elsewhere—though none of these were actually named—are marked for Google Tez’s next rollout. The ultimate fate of that shortlist, according to Diana Layfield, Google’s head of Tez as well as the vice-president of its “next billion users” program, would depend largely on the outcomes of various “conversations” over the next few months.

Several factors went into the decision-making process here, including rates of credit card penetration (ideally low), access to near-field communications (NFC) technology (also ideally low) and overall political feeling toward digital payments adoption (preferably high). Layfield also noted that various regions—Africa, the Middle East and Latin America—had also come under consideration, but three out of the four targeted nations were in Asia.

A heavy Asia focus really shouldn’t be a surprise here. After all, we’ve seen Alipay make lots of inroads in the Southeast Asia sphere, so why shouldn’t we expect Google Tez to branch out from India? Granted, there’s not really a lot of money in those markets—certainly no Europe or North America here—but for a company that’s also looking for “the next billion users”, a push into Southeast Asia might just go well.

While there may not be a whole lot of money in supplying mobile payments services to developing nations, there’s a good chance here to push the Google name—and thus, other Google services—to new users. Better yet, even Alipay hasn’t had a lot of opportunity to get entrenched, so there’s still a chance for Google Tex to make inroads. There’s no real inertia to overcome as this is comparatively virgin ground.

There’s a lot to like in this particular announcement, and Google Tez may well have a chance in some developing nations. Only time will tell just where these nations are, and just what kind of impact is realized here, but the potential is certainly there.