Payment is a crowded market already. How will Tez stand out?
It is crowded in one sense but it is so early in another sense. We are still a cash-based economy, the shift to cash from digital is a very long journey.There are a number of players now and many more players can and should join. There is a lot more innovation needed to get people to use digital. You have to build products that are safe, secure and fun to use.Our choice of building on the back of UPI and banks is a very explicit choice.We realised through our research that people like to keep money in their bank accounts, where they get interest. We realised that features such as cash mode are needed -if you are paying somebody in the market, you don't want to give them your phone number.
Has the audio QR technology been tested elsewhere?
The audio QR is a new technology. We have used audio for pairing across products like Chromecast, which uses it for setup. But for audio QR we had to do a lot of development and tuning for India. Here many phones don't have bluetooth, almost 85% of the phones don't have near-field communication (NFC). When we thought what would get us immediately to not just the city users, but also everyone else are things like speakers and microphones. And so we built the audio QR technology, which uses ultrasound beam.We had to work on it for 8-10 months to test it. We wrote a bunch of internal apps that had audio QR and had thousands of Googlers use it for the past many months.
There has to be a large-scale usage by the merchants...
First there are the small merchants, like your auto driver, small kirana store, a chaiwallah. They can use Tez right now -for them cash mode will work instantaneously. With Tez for business, we are starting with online merchants, so they can accept payments directly from bank accounts.
Right now, most of the sites accept net banking but it's hard. We thought that if we can make it easier for people to pay in a secure manner, it would help expand digital payment.
The third category is the merchants with people like Dish TV, electricity and water bills, gas bills --those again we are working with aggregators like Billdesk to automate it. The fourth category is the larger organised retail - that is where the work is going to be the hardest. In the large stores, it is going to be faster, and we are working on partnerships, but this midtier long tail is going to take time.We have done a lot of work with Google. My business is to bring these businesses online and we are going to use those partnerships. Our banking partners also have deep relationships with them.
Will Google look at incentives?
More than incentives, what merchants care about are customers, growing the user base, being able to drive engagements. If and when we need incentives, we will look at it. But I fundamentally don't believe incentives lead people to become true customers in the long run. To be true customers you have to be making the decision based on the experience that you are getting, the value the intrinsic product is bringing to you.
1 Comment on this Story
Kanth King1217 days ago
keep dreaming Mr.Caesar Sengupta, Indians love freebies so any products with freebies and offers rules.. who cares for simplicity #fforfree