Google Pay (Tez) gets Flutter rewrite ahead of global launch

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Bhawani Singh
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Two distinct versions of Google Pay exist today. The first is aimed at countries where NFC-based payments are widely adopted, while the other is for the Next Billion Users. That latter version of Google Pay, known as Tez, is getting a Flutter rewrite that will serve as the basis for global expansion.

The Google Pay team late on Friday evening announced that it selected the Flutter SDK to “drive its global product development.” “Google Pay (Tez)” — as the app is officially named on the Play Store — lets users pay bills, top-up phone data plans, get local bank loans, buy train tickets, and send money with rudimentary messaging capabilities. 

As one-app-for-everything, Tez is so successful in India and Asia that Google wants to bring that model around the world. CEO Sundar Pichai said as much at this start of this year:

We’ve had a lot of traction with our payments product over the past 18 months. We had a tremendously successful launch in India from which we learned a lot of features, and we’re bringing that and we’re revamping our payments products globally. And so I’m excited about that rollout, which is coming up in 2020. I think that will make the experience better.

To improve development — especially on the cross-platform front — as the app grows, the Pay team selected Flutter and cited the following reasons:

  • We could write once in Dart and deploy on both iOS and Android, which led to a uniform best-in-class experience on both Android and iOS;
  • Just-in-Time compiler with hot reload during development enabled rapid iteration on UI which tremendously increased developer efficiency; and
  • Ahead-of-time compilation ensured high performance deployment.

After carefully weighing the risks and our case for migration, we decided to go all in with Flutter. It was a monumental rewrite of a moving target, and the existing app continues to evolve while we were rewriting features. 

The Flutter version of Google Pay (Tez) — seen in the cover image above — has entered open beta for those in India and Singapore. Android users can sign-up via the Play Store.

In the future, the team is “looking forward to launching Google Pay on Flutter to everyone across the world on iOS and Android.” At this point, it’s unknown what UI or functionality users in each country will see. However, it’s clear that it will be powered by Flutter.

Stateside, Google Pay next year will add digital bank accounts, while a shopping-focused revamp is also rumored. Those two capabilities could be built on the Flutter version if today’s announcement is any indication. The non-Tez Pay client is also in the process of rolling out a bottom bar-less redesign.

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