Paytm is looking to compete against WhatsApp

By Catherine Sturman

Set to rival international giants, Indian electronic payment company Paytm is set to create a messaging app to further attract growth, alongside its traditional payment features.

Digital payments in India will jump to $500 billion by 2020, according to a 2016 report by Boston Consulting Group.

With 230 million registered users, Paytm has more users than WhatsApp in the region, and its new messaging service will go up against well-established competitors within global markets. However, embedding its traditional payments services is sure to have an edge within the Indian market, and allow the company to develop its mobile payment services.

Paytm’s main shareholder is Alibaba, who will provide support towards the company’s growth across Asia, alongside investor SoftBank, who has ploughed $1.4 billion into the company’s growing services.

At present, fellow competitor Tencent is one of the most popular company’s in the region as a result of its WeChat messaging service, alongside WeChat Pay. Paytm’s new service could become a blend of both WhatsApp and WeChat’s services, enabling users to send messages, images, audio and video files, as well as utilise its digital payment services.

“Having such a (large) user base, the company wants to take on WhatsApp and emulate the WeChat model for long-term gains,” a person close to the department has said. Paytm has already started offering different aggregated content in its app, indicating it wants to have multiple services on its platform.”

With the Indian banknote demonetisation, digital payment apps have increased in prominence and supported the company’s digital service, Paytm Wallet to sharply rise.



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