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Google Tez gets 7.5M users, over 30M transactions in five weeks

Google Tez has reported over 7.5 million users and 30 million transactions in five weeks, since its launch on September 18th 2017, Caesar Sengupta, VP (Next Billion Users) at the company disclosed yesterday. Sengupta was referencing a recent MediaNama story, where we reported that UPI had 16.6 million transactions in August 2017 alone. In September, UPI transactions increased 85% to 30.8 million.

There was some confusion about whether the 30 million figure includes cashbacks from Google to users: Google is currently incentivising UPI transactions by giving cashback to users. Sengupta clarified to MediaNama that the transactions include only P2P (person to person), Cash mode and P2M (person to merchant) payments.

Note that the Reserve Bank of India also publishes daily data for UPI transactions. To check whether there has been a significant impact on UPI since the launch of Tez, we mapped it out for you:

(note: Click on image above to view full size)

So here’s the math:

– Google has claimed 30 million transactions in 5 weeks since launch: that’s an average of 0.85 million transactions per day, over 35 days.
– For the last 12 days of September 2017, there were an average of 1.664 million transactions per day. For the first 18 days of September 2017 (the day Google Tez launched), there were an average of 0.6 million transactions per day. That’s a difference of 1.064 million transactions per day for the month of September, since Google Tez’s launch.
– For the last 13 days of July 2017 (post July 18th), there were an average of 0.37 million transactions per day. For the last 13 days of August 2017, there were an average of 0.52 million transactions per day.

Average amount per transaction declining

The other significant impact the growth in UPI has had is on the average amount per transaction: this indicates that more lower value transactions are being made, and it isn’t just large amounts of money being transferred.

The total amount transacted doesn’t seem to have changed much: the peak, in terms of amount transacted post the launch of Tez is fairly close to the peak after Tez launched. October data from the RBI will be interesting.

A few points

  1. (Updated) A discerning reader points out that while cashback transactions may not figure in Google’s 30M figure, they are going to be included in UPI’s number, given that cashbacks were also made using UPI. “I don’t think UPI as a platform has a way to differentiate a cashback from a regular payment. It is just another UPI payment from one VPA to another” he says, adding that “This is just referrals and cashbacks – 4 UPI transactions per install.”
  2. While UPI has been growing, the bump up in transactions is quite significant. Of course, the entire bump in number of transactions should not be attributed to Tez: it could be down to competitive activity as well, from NPCI owned BHIM (which also gives cashbacks), and Flipkart owned PhonePe*.
  3. Secondly, to judge whether there has been a notable change in consumer behavior, we’ll have to wait for Google to turn off the cashbacks tap, and then see how many users the product itself is able to retain.
  4. We had doubted Google’s abilty to scale a product in India, and it looks like Google Tez has done better than YouTube Go.
  5. In a way, this growth justifies our assessment that UPI needs Google and Whatsapp to grow, because so far, UPI has primarily been about two companies: BHIM and PhonePe, which together accounted for 86% of UPI transactions in August 2017.

Also read:

Disclosure: PhonePe is an advertiser with MediaNama

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