State Bank of India announced that it has officially partnered with Google Tez to bring it’s services to the search giant’s UPI based payments app. This will allow customers of India’s largest commercial bank to transact money and make payments directly from their bank accounts through the mobile app.

SBI is the first public sector bank to have partnered with Google Tez. SBI customers will now be assigned an @oksbi Virtual Payment Address that can be customised (for example, name@oksbi or mobilenumber@oksbi etc) to carry out the transactions.

Previously SBI bank accounts holders could use Google Tez to perform transactions from their accounts but they had to use a VPA from other banks like Axis, ICICI or HDFC. Other state-run banks are also listed on the app and money can be sent to these bank accounts but the bank’s VPA cannot be generated by the app as of yet.

Google has now partnered with four banks to allow users of Tez app to create their bank’s VPA. Other than SBI, the three other banks are HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank. It must be noted that using another bank’s VPA won’t stop users from making transactions from their accounts but some banks me have ‘special offers’ like cash back tied to their own VPAs.

SBI has a customer base of more than 400 million. It has the largest network of 22,584 branches in India and a network of nearly 59,000 ATMs.

Tez by the numbers

Google Tez uses Unified Payments Interface (UPI) for payments, which is a protocol that allows the transfer of money from one bank account to another. Apart from allowing transfer of money from UPI ID to UPI ID, account number and QR code, Tez also allows payments by connecting devices using audio.

It had reported over 7.5 million users and 30 million transactions within five weeks of its launch. The transactions included P2P (person to person), cash mode and P2M (person to merchant) payments. Later it had reported 140 million transactions for the months of October 2017 and November 2017 since launch, apart from 12 million users.

Overall, between December 2017 and January 2018, UPI witnessed a 4% increase in the total transaction volumes. The number of transactions grew by 6.4 million in January 2018, whereas the total amount transacted increased by Rs 2,426.9 crores. In December 2017, volume had increased by 40.6 million and amount transacted had grown Rs 3,503.7 crores.