Google Tez, a UPI-enabled digital payment app, launched in India

Google logo on office building in Irvine California

Google today launched Tez, its new digital payment app developed specifically for India.

The application even has a Cash Mode that will enable instant transactions with anyone nearby without sharing personal details like a phone number or bank account.

After months of speculation, search engine giant Google on Monday announced its foray into India's burgeoning digital payments market with Tez, its UPI-enabled mobile app. UPI allows for easy transfer for payments within bank accounts.

Following are the top features of Tez app.

It has a multi-language support which includes English, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.

The app will work more like a traditional mobile wallet where it will link your phone with your bank accounts thereby making your phone a tool to make transactions and deduct money from the linked accounts.

Google also plans to launch a version of the app for businesses but businesses need to register to show their interest in the app. Because Tez detect's them and you have a secure payment experience. Post this limit, there will be additional requirements, along with bank fee. The app also offers options to share and split expenses. It will also compete against WhatsApp, which is also planning to introduce UPI payments in its app later this year. "In the event that you are a Recipient, you hereby consent Google to permit the Sender to store your information including bank account number and Aadhaar number on Tez for the goal of sending you payments", adds the page.

In order to make payments through UPI, first you have to enter the account number. "Each transaction is secured with your UPI PIN and the app is secured with a Google PIN or your screen lock method such as fingerprint". This cash mode allows you to pay your family and friends nearby without having to deal with the nuances of bank details and long identification numbers. Payment goes directly to their bank account.

It is worth noting that the app is not a digital "wallet" like PayTM wherein the money is stored in the app and is topped up for purchases.

So far, Tez supports banks like HDFC Bank, ICICI, State Bank of India, Axis and more.

Google's entry will definitely add impetus to the government's efforts to get people to shift to digital money, given that most of India's 300 million or so smartphones run on Google's Android operating system - therefore an environment that people are already familiar with.