India’s Paytm to rival WhatsApp with new messaging service
INDIA’S biggest mobile payment service Paytm is hoping to overtake Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp as the country’s most popular messaging service.
Paytm’s proposed chat functionality could enable Indian businesses to interact with customers, a capability WhatsApp is also considering offering to its 1.2 billion users worldwide.
The service, which could be unveiled in as soon as two weeks, will also enable Paytm’s users to share text, video and images for free.
Another competitor to Paytm is Tencent-backed Hike Ltd., India’s biggest local messaging app which claims it has 100 million users. In June, the app also introduced a payment feature.
While it will be a challenge for Paytm to unseat WhatsApp considering the app’s huge user base and global domination, Paytm will certainly be a strong competitor in a market that is growing considerably.
In recent years, millions of Indians have been getting online via inexpensive smartphones and cheap data plans. However, this huge business opportunity has prompted increasing competition from technology companies from China and the United States keen to expand their operations in the country.