Indian mobile payments firm Paytm may launch chat services in an effort to shore up its position against WhatsApp and Hike – both of which are looking into offering mobile payments.
Reportedly, Paytm would be ready within weeks to offer a messaging service that would allow for free text, image and video messages. According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the service would allow brands to connect with customers and suggest purchases, which could then be completed via the Paytm app.
Paytm’s move plays into its broader strategy of expanding its range of services. The news follows reports that WhatsApp will enable P2P (person-to-person) money transfers via its messaging app, which would put it in direct competition with Paytm’s core offering. Meanwhile Indian firm Hike launched P2P payments in June.
With over 100 million users, Hike is one of the world’s largest messaging apps by downloads, while Paytm’s payments app has over 200 million users. WhatsApp is used by a similar number of people in India.