Is Google setting its sights on WhatsApp?
Google Tez has quickly become one of the biggest services for sending and receiving payments in India. Google reported it had 12 million users in December, and about a month ago, Tez enabled its users to pay for bills right within the app. Now, it looks like Google may be itching to take on WhatsApp with a new chat feature.
Multiple Tez users have confirmed they're able to send messages back and forth to contacts within the app, and shortly after reports of this started to emerge, Gadgets360 received an email from a Google representative that said:
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.
If you've got access to this, you'll see a new chat icon next to your buttons for "Pay" and "Request." Tapping on this will allow you to send messages to your contacts that also use Tez, and you can even block certain people and delete a conversation thread.
Google seems to be marketing this feature as a way for people to strictly talk about the payments they're making, but it's hard not to draw comparisons to WhatsApp. WhatsApp just added a peer-to-peer payment option for its beta users in India in early February, and while its chat features are much more fleshed-out than what Tez is currently offering, a few more updates could easily evolve Tez into a one-stop-shop for making payments and communicating with friends/loved ones.
If you live in India and use Google Tez, do you have access to the app's chat feature?