Why WhatsApp should start worrying about Paytm
WHATSAPP is trying to get its payments platform going in India. Being one of the country’s (and arguably the world’s) most popular messaging apps, it has a bright future.
However, it’s launch has been held up for various reasons. First, it was local regulatory barriers, then its the country’s new data privacy laws.
Unfortunately, if Facebook takes too long to get past the hurdles and launch WhatsApp Pay in India, it might lose out to its biggest local rival Paytm, who is fighting tooth and nail to hold on to its market-leader position.
The fact is, in India, consumers have grown comfortable with Paytm and use it everday, for everything. Whether buying groceries or settling the electricity bill, Paytm can do everything. It is even accepted by Uber.
Street vendors and local rickshaws too accept Paytm, making it the country’s go-to mobile payments app.
But Paytm isn’t stopping there. They also want to become the country’s leading financial advisor and investment manager.
For more than a year, it allowed users to invest into gold. That might seem a bit odd at first, but given the country’s love for gold as an investment vehicle, the idea makes sense.
Soon, Paytm’s users will also be able to invest in mutual funds via the platform. The company, according to local media, has parterned with 15 fund houses to offer a suite of investment options.
Investing in mutual funds is considered safer than investing in individual stocks because it allows you to diversify your portfolio.
Recently, the company has acquired a local company called Balance Tech.
The company creates conversational personal savings assistants that nudge users to build a saving habit, and give purpose to their money as they go about their busy lives.
“We look forward to bring in computational intelligence, unique design and proprietary algorithms with balance to help Paytm users accomplish more with their money,” said Balance Tech, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Ankit Kumar.
Soon, users could be finding themselves glued to the app, to spend, save, and invest, and track their financial growth. Come to think of it, the move could help Paytm create an exciting financial services ecosystem – one that’s already widely popular and trusted in the country. And trust, in financial services, is critical.
If Paytm manages to bring its full suite of offerings to market soon, WhatsApp Pay could find it difficult to gain a footing in the market when it finally launches.