How Google is growing its G-Pay (Tez) App in India via a simple Growth Hack

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Note: This article was first published on Medium on 20 Jan 2018

Google Pay (Tez) — UPI based payments app went from zero to 5M downloads in less than 50 days, here’s one of the aspects contributing to the growth. Go read the whole post, its a gem of work by Google Team.

India is a crowded market for Mobile Payment Space, with big players like Paytm, Mobikwik, PayU Money, PayPal, BHIM, PhonePe. On 18th September 2017, Google launched its own UPI enabled mobile payment’s App in India and they are looking to have a bigger share. Just in its first 50 days, Tez has seen 5M downloads which is a number in a crowded market.

Payments App have been using Cashback for Acquisition and Retention, but that seems an old game now. With UPI payments apps, Cash backs are now directly deposited in your bank account and that has created a big impact as customers want to use their rewards /Cashback in other places than the rewarding app.

Google went one more step ahead, with keeping a record of total rewards earned in the lifetime by a User. Its that simple, this one hack helped google get referrals and repeat users. Let’s take a look at the rewards Google is giving out.

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Google in the initial days of the launch had three offers,

  1. Invite and if your friend uses the app, you get INR 51 directly in your bank account
  2. Pay or get paid more than INR 50 and you get a scratch card which will have rewards ranging from “Better luck next time” to thousands.
  3. Similar to the second offer, but this scratch card was only available to be scratched once in a week and one scratch card per week.

But the real hack is in the next picture

Google kept a tab of rewards earn by a user till date and just displayed it to the users, this made the users happy to see that number going up, you all know it’s the liquid called dopamine, which popped up. It does not stop here though, users started to compete with their peers over the total rewards and started showing them off. Now to earn rewards, users had to either refer or send/receive money so they started using the app more often. Some users even check it more than five times a day to check whether they have received any referral rewards. The retention and acquisition part is built into the product itself.

This is how Google-Tez team hacked growth, the one major take from this is that your Marketing teams and Product teams should work together to create acquisition and retention in the product itself. To know more about how, if’s, but’s of this topic, do read — Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday and Lean Startup by Eric Ries.

If books don’t excite you, take a course by Rishabh Dev on Growth Hacking here.

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