Paytm is expected to launch a chat messenger in its app to allow its user base of over 230 million to communicate more seamlessly within its network, according to sources familiar with the development. The company will convert its payment users to messaging and help businesses connect with consumers.
The feature is expected to be launched later this month, said one of the sources briefed on the matter. A Paytm spokesperson declined to comment when contacted ET.
Paytm’s move seems to be in the reverse direction compared to others such as Hike Messenger, which recently launched payments through wallet and unified payment interface (UPI), and WhatsApp, which is also expected to embed payments in the country.
Interestingly, WhatsApp’s business head Neeraj Arora also sits on the board of Paytm.
The move is also likely inspired by WeChat, the Chinese social media and chat app developed by Tencent, which is fighting Paytm –backer Alibaba in China. WeChat, however, also began as a popular chat app before introducing payments, taking on Alibaba’s Alipay.
India’s hyper-growth technology firms like Paytm are reluctant to let western companies win the market. The success of such platforms has been established in Asia, WeChat and Alipay being shining examples. Platforms developed in the western world, like PayPal, have struggled to earn market share too.