Sep 20, 2017
Google's New Payment App Uses Ultrasonic Frequencies to Transfer Cash
Last year, the Indian government banned the use of high-value cash bills. Now, Google is fielding an app that offers a fast, secure method of transferring money digitally.
Google has launched a new mobile payment app in India called Tez for iOS and Android devices. Named after a Hindi word meaning 'fast,' it allows users to make swift, secure cash transfers using technology known as audio QR.
While India is home to 300 million smartphone users, many of these devices are entry level or mid-tier, and don't feature near-field communication technology. As a result, they don't support services like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay.
Tez forges a connection between the two devices taking part in the transaction using ultrasonic frequencies, which are inaudible to human ears. As a result, there's no need to share bank account information or even a telephone number.
The service is protected by Tez Shield, a platform devised by Google that's able to detect fraudulent usage, and keeps user identities under wraps.
QUICKER THAN CASH
In November 2016, the Indian government announced a ban on cash bills worth more than 500 rupees ($7.77). This decision removed more than 85 percent of the country's currency from circulation, and as a rush, digital transactions have seen a sharp increase in popularity.
Google isn't the only company attempting to field an app fulfilling this purpose to the Indian market. Whatsapp is apparently in talks with the National Payments Corporation of India — the governing body behind the Unified Payments Interface platform that links Tez up to users' bank accounts — in the hopes of launching its own service.
For the moment, Google is pitching Tez squarely at the Indian marketplace. However, if it proves to be successful, the company hopes to release the app in countries including Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.
by Brad Jones