Home-grown messaging service Hike Messenger is in talks with India’s major e-tailers and mobile applications for integrating its wallet solution as a payment option. The firm is in talks with Flipkart, Ola, Amazon, Zomato and Uber, said ET reports.
On Tuesday, the firm updated its app to Hike 5.0 that comes with a wallet, supporting fund transfers through Unified Payments Interface (UPI). The firm has partnered with Yes Bank to enable UPI transfers and digital wallet services from its messenger. This service will also be available for making offline payments to brick and mortar stores.
Speaking about its plan, Kavin Bharti Mittal, CEO of Hike Messenger, said “Banks would start putting QR (quick response) codes with merchants towards the end of the year, when the unique payment interface (UPI)-ready QR codes will be live, then the app will directly work with the merchants. That’s the direction we want to take with offline payments.”
Hike is looking to overtake messaging service WhatsApp and mobile wallet company Paytm to become the leading messaging and payment app in India. WhatsApp was also in talks with the Indian government for launching digital payments in India. WhatsApp is reported to have over 200 million active users.
Hike was launched in 2012 by Kevin Mittal. Till date, the platform has acquired a user base of over 100 million in 2017, exchanging over 40 billion messages per month.
In August 2016, Hike raised its fourth round of funding of $175 million, led by Tencent and Foxconn, at a valuation of $1.4 billion. It became the fastest company in the India to attain ‘Unicorn’ status, having reached the milestone in just over three-and-half years. Tencent, offers similar services in China through WeChat messaging application. Investors in the messenger app include Tencent, Foxconn, Tiger Global, SofBank and Bharti.