Google is testing a new chat feature in its payments app Tez in India. The company recently started rolling out chat support to select users in the country, who are using the latest version of Tez on their mobile devices. The company has confirmed the roll-out, but is yet to officially announce the chat support for wider set of consumers.
“We’ve added a feature to Tez that allows you to send simple messages back and forth to your contacts about the payments you make,” Google told Gadgets 360 in a statement.
The chat feature seems to be aimed at offering users an option to interact with senders or payees right in the app if there is a need. It will only work if both users have Tez installed on their phones. If you are sending money to someone using Tez, who is not present on the app, chat function won’t be available.
Tez is seeing rapid growth in India, but there is plenty of competition, including WhatsApp, which is currently running a pilot of its payments service in the country. It is not a surprise to see that Google wants the Tez users to stay in its ecosystem. It will be interesting to see Google integrate Tez in its specialised chat offerings like Hangouts or Android Messenger.
Last month, Google officially added the Bill Payments support to Tez, letting the users directly pay for their mobile, electricity or service bills directly from the application. The search giant has recently partnered with State Bank of India as well, which gives Tez access to generate SBI-specific VPAs for the SBI customers. The bank’s customers have been able to operate Tez since the app’s launch, but they had to use another bank’s VPA to transact on Google’s service.
Tez by the numbers
Google Tez has over 12 million active users in India and the service had processed 140 million transactions between its September, 2017 launch and December, 2017.