Paytm is set to annex your smartphone a little bit more. The mobile wallet app is reportedly looking at ways to rival WhatsApp by injecting messaging capabilities to its platform in order to aid in applications beyond shopping and payments. This will give the payments app a new dimension and possibly shrink WhatsApp’s strong user base in the country. Also Read - Here are some features Signal directly copied from WhatsAppAlso Read - WhatsApp Web beta users get video, voice calling feature: Report
A report on the Wall Street Journal notes that the chat functionality on Paytm will allow users to share text, video, and images for free. One of the people familiar with the matter said that the feature could be rolled out as soon as two weeks. The integration of a chat feature in the app falls in line with Paytm CEO and founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s recent statement where he said that the service is expecting a large number of consumers and merchants driving the usage of e-wallets this year. Also Read - Is WhatsApp safe to use or you should delete it?
The Noida-based firm boasts over 225 million users and its move to integrate messaging to its platform is expected to steal users from the Facebook-owned app. To give a perspective, WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India. ALSO READ: WhatsApp to enable digital payments in India: After Truecaller, WhatsApp UPI integration on the cards
Since the demonetization drive in India, there has been a significant boost in wallet services and not only standalone apps but device manufacturers are also attempting to drive on the success. Soon after the government launched its own BHIM app and UPI payments platform, Samsung also introduced its Samsung Pay and Samsung Pay Mini service in India.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp too has started working on its own payments service in India. The Facebook-owned messaging app boasts 1.2 billion users globally and is said to be exploring the ability to add a payment option in India. Earlier this week, the company also added business-friendly capabilities to its Windows Phone platform that could be seen as a precursor to full-fledged payment systems in the future. Given the tremendous amount of popularity WhatsApp enjoys in the country, it is likely to be a tough challenge for Paytm to match up to that level of engagement when it comes to conversations. ALSO READ: Paytm partners with Alibaba-owned firm to develop mobile games in India
Another example of a payments-integrated messaging service in India is Hike. The service boasts half the number of WhatsApp users, at 100 million, and introduced its payments feature in June. Facebook, on the other hand, already has its payments features integrated into the Messenger service. However, it is yet to be rolled out in India.