India’s biggest digital payment firm PayTM has just announced to launch a messaging service in India. According to few reports, the company will bring the messaging service to its users by the end of this month. Backed by Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Japanese firm SoftBank, PayTM started with a mobile recharge app in the year 2010. The company forayed into digital payment service with the launch of PayTM Wallet in 2013 and never looked back.
Coming to the year 2017, PayTM has become a leading e-commerce platform with 2.1 million merchants and more 80 million active users. Users can now transfer money to friends (also supports UPI), shop online, book bus, flights, trains and even movie tickets, recharge their mobile/DTH, pay for electricity, water, gas, landline phone bill via PayTM app. You could also buy even solid gold, pay for Metro pass, toll tax, college fees, and even EMIs. The company has also got the nod from Reserve Bank of India for setting up a Payment Bank in India and PayTM has started the Payment Bank service in India earlier this year.
Well now, PayTM is planning to venture into messaging services. So, now you have a single app for everything you can do online. Whether it’s shopping, chatting with your friends, pay utility bills, PayTM is there for you. Well, does that sound familiar? Oh yeah! WeChat it is. WeChat is a Chinese app with nearly one billion active users and offers multiple services on the same platform. Users can message friends, pay restaurant bills, hail cabs, play games and stream videos through one single app – WeChat. It is also continuously coming up with innovative features like ‘mini programs’ which let users access apps stored in the cloud without actually downloading them on the device. So, it’s China’s one app for everything.
Now with PayTM venturing into messaging platform, it is being said that PayTM is trying to capture the WhatsApp’s territory. But it seems like PayTM is looking far beyond that. It is to be noted that the WeChat is backed by Tencent Holding, a rival to Alibaba Group. And PayTM is backed by Alibaba Group. So, it seems pretty clear that PayTM is not just trying to take over WhatsApp’s territory, but to become the WeChat of India.