Digital payment has turned out to be one of the most fierce battles being fought on Indian turf. After e-commerce, global technology giants have been at loggerheads for winning a major slice of fledgling digital payment space.
Besides incumbent Paytm, Google, Facebook (via WhatsApp), Amazon and Uber had thrown their bets on fast emerging UPI-enabled payment wave. In fact, the NPCI-powered payment mechanism has been grabbing a substantial part of overall digital payment transactions (volume as well as value wise) in India.
Since the overall state of digital payment landscape is improving alongside UPI-based payment option, the Alibaba-backed Paytm had introduced a chat product — Paytm Inbox on the lines of WhatsApp.
Similarly, Google is playing ‘chat’ card as it doesn’t want to miss any opportunity to win the so-called ‘Next Billion Users Initiative’, focused on India and other SEA countries.
Google Tez has integrated in-app chat feature for selected users which will be available for its 13.5 million active user base soon in the country.
Like WhatsApp and Paytm, Tez will also allow users to communicate with their contacts alongside sending and requesting money. The feature isn’t available to all Tez users, it is only accessible if both parties are running the latest version of the Tez app on their mobile devices.
According to Gadgets360 report, there is a dedicated chat button that sits right next to the ‘Pay’ and ‘Request’ buttons on the Google Tez app that allows users to simply interact with their contacts.
Users can also block any of the contacts or disable a particular chat thread.
Through chat feature, consumers can track their transaction history like a conversation and improve the customer experience. Additionally, it will help consumers avoid complicated bank account numbers and wait for them to be added as beneficiaries.
Google is trying to play another social media card with chat feature after its consecutive debacle with Orkut and Hangout. But, it won’t be a smooth ride as WhatsApp is a unanimous instant chat service in India. Currently, it has over 250 million users in the country.
Paytm Inbox has barely been getting any traction and surprisingly it didn’t reveal any figure since its launch in November last year. Invading into Facebook and WhatsApp territory is not easy (seems like a herculean task at the moment).
Nevertheless, going forward it would indeed be exciting to see how Paytm Inbox and Google Tez chat feature make inroad to Facebook’s (with WhatsApp) core competency.