India’s leading digital payments company Paytm, the mobile payment service is planning to build messaging services into its app by the end of this month to compete with Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp, a source familiar with the matter. The company will convert its payment users to messaging and help businesses connect with consumers.
The latest service in Paytm will let customers send audio, video, images and text messages, said the source, a person familiar with the matter told the publication. Paytm is said to be working on the messaging service since three months. The move comes from Paytm to gather more users towards its platform and increase user engagement.
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Paytm has about 225 million users in India. WhatsApp had 200 million active consumers as of Feb. in India, its leading solo market, has also been looking at going into online payment services there.
Paytm, which is supported by China’s Alibaba and Japan’s SoftBank, wants to entice people in Indian to use texting services fixed in its payment application, which many already use to buy everything from food to air ticket.
“Paytm desires to become a digital world for Indian business where customers can shop, communicate, and use commercial services,” told Pavel Naiya, an analyst at tech research Counterpoint.
Earlier this year, Hike, the messaging platform Increase e payments service in its app to cash in on the growth in online transactions in the country. E-payments firms in India increased after the country barred old currency notes last year. companies such as Paytm have since rapidly increased their market share.
Online payments in India will jump about ten times by 2020 to $500 billion, according to a previous year report by Boston Consulting Group.