WhatsApp Pay Feature, Nightmare for Indian Digital Wallets

WhatsApp is going to join the queue of companies that provide the convenience of payment to their users. How this will affect PayTM, Mobikwik and other Payment Wallets?

Instant messaging app WhatsApp will soon be able to issue an Instant Money Transfer feature through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI). This feature has been seen in the new beta update of WhatsApp. According to the blog website WABetaInfo, WhatsApp will provide bank-to-bank transfer service through UPI system. This service is mentioned in the new version of WhatsApp 2.17.295. Official WhatsApp payment section for Android is currently being prepared.

Facebook-owned company, WhatsApp already have partnered with India top banks State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank to launch this feature.

The uniqueness of this features is users can transfer money without leaving the chat interface just like sharing a contact or location on the instant messenger.

Many other popular messaging services such as Wechat and Hike Messenger have already paid payment service support. However, after the arrival of this support in WhatsApp , there will be an increase in digital payments in India. This popular messaging app is used by more than 200 million people in India, the largest user base it has in the world.

As many as 2 million Indian women are reselling lifestyle and clothing products using WhatsApp and Facebook that generate $9b in sales only through WhatsApp, Facebook

Online re-sellers are typically women homemakers (some having owned small boutiques in the past), unemployed men or even college students who use WhatsApp and FB to market their products after sourcing them from suppliers who typically keep a bigger stock of products. The re-sellers, then make 15-20% of order value as commission for selling these products.

WhatsApp Pay and B2B Transactions

Paytm and Flipkart Owned PhonePe facilitates B2B transactions like bill payment, money transfer and more. While Paytm holds a significant market in QR code payments, Flipkart is set to launch own PoS device integrated with PhonePe which is backed by Bluetooth technology to imitate an offline instant payment possible.

WhatsApp for Business is already under beta testing stage and used by Indian companies like BookMyShow, Ola, Oyo and airlines companies. It’s still a suspense, will WhatsApp integrate its payment feature with WhatsApp for Business or not.

WhatsApp’s payments effort in India is being led by Neeraj Arora, its global business head. He’s also on the board of One97 Communications Limited, the company that owns Paytm.

PayTM set to launch in USA

While USA companies are eyeing to capture market in India. India’s largest payment wallet PayTM is looking for the United States expansion.

Paytm is already available in Canada and according to its CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma, that could serve a base of operations to bridge further North American expansion. The Canadian user base is small – as opposed to the service’s 260 million Indian users – but the average Canadian transaction is much larger than its Indian equivalent. Canadians can use Paytm to pay mobile phone, cable, internet and utility bills, as well as property taxes. They can also pay for insurance.

Google Launched “Tez”, tailor-made UPI payment system for India

Recently, Google launched it’s UPI payment system for India – Tez. What do you think, will this also see downfall? Most probably yes, because WhatsApp will crush everyone with its sheer size, that’s where it wins. WhatsApp is already being used by 200 million Indian users, for other payment systems, it will take time to reach everyone.

However, even though with the new RBI guidelines which have asked digital wallets to be inter-operable won’t make them last much either way. Let’s see how Google’s Tez, PayTM, Mobiwiki, Phone Pe and other’s will counter this massive threat from Facebook’s WhatsApp. Its a total win-win for the customer, as the rivalry, will surely benefit them.