Finally, Facebook-owned WhatsApp is moving towards monetizing its chat application. The chat company is building business centric solutions to help large to small businesses like e-commerce, banks, airlines amongst others.
In a blog post, the company said that it’s building and testing new tools for small companies and an enterprise solution for bigger companies operating at a large scale with a global base of customers, like airlines, e-commerce sites, and banks.
The tool will enable businesses to communicate useful notifications to their customers like flight times, delivery confirmations, and other updates. Last week, the company had collaborated with ticket booking platform BookMyShow for sending booking confirmation for movie ticket.
Businesses can mention important information such as address, business hours and description of their offering and help them manage consumer chats. Currently, WhatsApp is not charging for the aforementioned services, however it plans to charge businesses for it.
“In the coming months, we’ll be testing new features that aim to solve some of these challenges, and make it easier for people to communicate with the businesses they want to reach on WhatsApp,” said the company in a blog post.
Earlier this month, WhatsApp began testing verified business accounts with the select number of businesses in a pilot program. Unlike user’s account, business accounts will have a green badge next to contact’s name.
In India, besides BookMyShow, WhatsApp is also in talks with other companies to offer its business service for cab and hotels booking. Cab-hailing firm Ola, hotel rooms aggregator OYO and airlines Spicejet and Indigo are companies, with whom instant messaging app mulling discussion for business collaboration.
India is the largest market for WhatsApp with a user base of 200 million. The company is also slated to integrate Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for enabling payment for various services through the app. Going forward, it would be interesting to see how WhatsApp will integrate UPI layer with tools it’s building for businesses.