India, and the surrounding Southeast Asia region, is a special area of focus for Google given the potential for the “next billion users” originating there. As such, Google has created a number of country-specific apps and services, with the latest being a mobile payment service for India.
Local publication The Ken detailed Google’s plans today and notes that a launch might come as early as next week. Google “Tez” — or fast in Hindi — is rumored to be name of the company’s digital payment solution that is specifically optimized for India.
“Largely fashioned” on Android Pay, the app and service partners with “several large private banks” in the country and will work with the government-backed Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Google will additionally have integration with third-party payment wallets Paytm and MobiKwik on its platform.
India is the world’s second largest smartphone market with the population quickly coming online. As such, the country’s digital payment space is highly lucrative with numerous competitors, including Facebook’s WhatsApp and Flipkart, angling for market share with their own offerings.
Google is already working on a data and a mobile optimized version of its Search app for India and the surrounding region and also has an app for food delivery and home services in India. Other efforts include Android One and a ‘Made for India’ program to highlight optimized apps in the Play Store.
The Ken also found evidence that Google registered the “Tez” trademark in neighboring Indonesia and the Philippines, with the Indian announcement expected to come as early as next Monday.