Why Does Paytm Want to Take on WhatsApp?

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Why Does Paytm Want to Take on WhatsApp?

Photo Credit: Paytm

Paytm wants to take on WhatsApp with its own messaging service, according to a WSJ report. That could have far-reaching consequences on the Indian apps market. WhatsApp, as we know, has been working on introducing a payments layer to its app in India. Paytm, which already has person-to-person payments and is accepted by a lot of merchants, appears to think that a messaging service is the killer feature it has been missing. Gadgets 360’s editorial head Kunal Dua and games editor Rishi Alwani join host Pranay Parab to discuss what this means for India.

We begin the episode by talking about the WSJ report and wondering whether Paytm can dethrone WhatsApp, which has 200 million monthly active users in India. Paytm has 225 million wallet users and it claims that around half of these are active users. That means that even after adding a messaging layer to its app, Paytm has its task cut out.

Kunal wonders whether Paytm has the stickiness required to take on WhatsApp. Ultimately the best messaging apps are the ones where your friends are and Paytm has its work cut out to become that. Rishi wonders whether comparisons with WeChat are fair, since WeChat is also a payments hub in China. Like Paytm, WeChat has support for movie tickets, paying utility bills, and a bunch of other services.

We also talk about Samsung Pay and whether that could be competition for the likes of WhatsApp and Paytm. Before concluding the episode we wonder whether Jio Phone could be another factor that decides who wins the payments race in India.

That's all for this week's episode of Orbital, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, or just hit the play button below.

Disclosure: Paytm's parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

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Further reading: Podcast, Podcasts, Orbital, WhatsApp, Paytm
Pranay Parab Pranay is in charge of podcasts and videos at Gadgets 360. Over the years, he has written over 500 tutorials on iPhone, Android, Windows, and Mac. He has also written in-depth reported features on the intersection of technology and culture, reviewed fitness wearables, been the social media manager, started two podcasts, and produced several tech videos. He loves travelling, particularly to places not frequented by tourists. He keeps running half-marathons across the country and hopes to complete ...More
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