Paytm is reportedly closing in on launching its own version of messaging service in India, as reported by WSJ and Reuters this week.
The mobile payment platform is expected to make an announcement on this by the end of this month, and most people believe that Paytm could go head on with WhatsApp’s upcoming payment service, which is likely to go live real soon.
However, there are more than one reasons why Paytm wants to enter the messaging arena, which is already crowded with players like Hike, Facebook and the biggest of them all, WhatsApp.
Everyone Wants Users Hooked
Social messaging is a big part of our digital lives nowadays. Earlier, you had the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which was so popular that people bought the phones back then just so that they could chat with each other via BBM.
Then, with Androids, you have WhatsApp, which recently clocked over a billion active users across the globe, which is a staggering feat for the now Facebook-owned platform.
Messaging is a regular practice that forces people to remain active throughout the day, and for businesses, that is a gold mine which has been unexplored. It’s another matter altogether that not all experiments on this front work out successfully.
For instance, e-commerce platform Flipkart tried its luck with Ping not that long ago, but nobody signed up for it because everyone was already hooked on to WhatsApp. This is where Paytm will have to make sure the incentive to use their messaging service forces people to get actively hooked to them.
Copybook Model in Store
As you would have seen, many messaging platforms in China such as WeChat and Line have introduced their own payment service. The model has enabled WeChat to become a leading player in its area of expertise, and giving users the choice to pay from it as well.
This model has worked exceedingly well for multiple payment entities, and whisper it quietly, but it does look like Paytm is following/replicating the Chinese model in India.
Paytm is looking to pull the trick, the other way around, as it wants its users to message from the app itself. With a market-leading share of 57% in its space, Paytm can be bullish about its chances by taking the familiar route.
Apps — Gateway to Digital Payment
WhatsApp, Amazon, Google and Samsung among others, are after India’s booming digital economy, and the numbers speak for itself.
According to a recent Google report, the market size of digital payments in India is expected to touch $500 billion by 2020.
The report, more importantly, highlights non-cash transactions in India are going to exceed cash transactions by 2023. While we all know that Facebook bought WhatsApp for over $19 billion in 2014 for its large user base, the end motive could very much be focused on making it a payment platform as well.
With over 200 million users in the market, it would be unwise to suggest Paytm is looking to compete with a global behemoth like WhatsApp with its latest move.
All in all, it remains to be seen how Paytm decides to implement the rumoured messaging service, and how differently can they offer the feature.
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