Google Tez Could Make Google The Name to Beat in Mobile Payments

August 31, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

As far as mobile payments goes, Google has not had a good run of things. It got into the market late, and in a downright fragmented fashion. By the time it could really get going, most of the device makers that ran Android were running their own mobile payments systems. Once Samsung Pay got into the field, some of the best mobile payments customers were lost to Google. However, a new report sent our way from Daniel Doderlein, Auka founder and CEO, suggests that Google Tez may be exactly what Google needed to get in the fray, and may be what ultimately puts it on top.

Tez, Doderlein noted, was seen as something of an experiment in the mobile payments front, as Google’s involvement in mobile payments previously had been kind of tenuous. Tez represented something different, a combination of a model that worked well in other regions—it was described as similar to the major Chinese operations Alipay and WeChat Pay, among others—and a country that was ripe for the mobile payments plucking: India.

Now, Google Tez has yielded 55 million downloads and around 750 million total transactions. Tez is even part of the Google Pay brand, reports note, which is available in over 20 different countries. Google reportedly has plans to ramp up the operation further, getting into both online and offline retail along with microloans. Plus, there’s also some word about Google targeting Europe in a major push with the arrival of Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2).

Could this be the push that Google needed to get off the sidelines? Well, it’s reasonable enough; Android devices are huge in India, so Google has something like a home-field advantage there. Granted, Paytm has already made a huge splash in the Indian market, but with just over a billion people living in its borders, India is one big market. Granted, a lot of India is so impoverished it makes American poverty look like largesse—almost a quarter of the population lives on $1.25 a day—but that’s still a hefty slug of market.

Google may indeed have a clear path to success by pushing on the Indian market, and given the state of things so far, it really needed a win going forward.