WhatsApp’s P2P Payment Feature Can Change Digital India: 3 Observations!
WhatsApp's P2P payment feature could become the de-facto means of digital payments, taking into account the popularity and widespread use of WhatsApp.
WhatsApp, world’s most popular and widely used messenger app with 1.5 billion users globally, and over 200 million daily users in India have rolled out the beta version of their peer to peer payment feature in India.
Going by the looks of it, the feature to send money has been carefully, and cleverly embedded into the main chat window. The process is so seamless that a person can send money to another user without even leaving the chat window.
As I observed from the comments from those who are using it, the process to send money via WhatsApp is as simple as sending a picture or a text message.
India has thus became the first country in the world to access WhatsApp’s payment feature, and such is the impact of this feature that it has the power to change Digital India forever.
Here are three observations, why:
Red-hot User Base
200 million or 20 crore Indians are using WhatsApp daily, religiously. And by seamlessly integrating their payment feature, Whatsapp has made sure that they have a red-hot user base of 200 million on day 1 of their operations.
This is indeed a masterstroke by them, because their business services has already been launched, although payments to businesses/merchants is not yet allowed, WhatsApp has made sure that their users are ready to use and explore this feature. Very soon, WhatsApp can introduce features such as payments to businesses/merchants directly, and this will be a new dawn of Digital India.
Big Boost To Digital Business
WhatsApp is clearly following the route taken China’s WeChat in terms of monetization and platform development. In 2016, users sent payments worth $1.2 trillion using WeChat, as more than 860 million Chinese users of this messaging app are using it to book appointments with doctors, book train tickets, send gifts, find friends, pay for utility bills and more.
Now, the same can be done on WhatsApp as well, and the first step has been taken by launching their payments feature. To give you a perspective, around 2 million Indian homemakers are right now using Whatsapp and Facebook to generate sales of their small businesses, and if we believe the report, then WhatsApp and Facebook together accounted for business worth $8-9 billion, which is much higher than India’s overall ecommerce industry.
Now, with easy payments options available on Whatsapp, this is all set to take a quantum leap, and maybe touch the trillion dollar benchmark of China’s WeChat. Once businesses start booming on WhatsApp, Digital India’s true objectives would be fulfilled. We are witnessing a new India!
Wallets Under Threat
Mobile Wallets have been an important ingredient of Digital India story, as they enabled quick payments and transfer of money among users. Paytm has been the biggest beneficiary of this Digital India movement, but now, WhatsApp payment service is threatening Paytm’s dominance.
WhatsApp has very smartly used UPI for their payment platform, and this is again a masterstroke from them. UPI based payments have been witnessing highest growth rate in the last few months, and mobile wallets have been found to be lagging behind.
Now, with WhatsApp payment being supported on UPI, two things will happen: UPI’s popularity and importance will exponentially increase, and the dominance of Paytm and other wallets will substantially decrease. Again, it is Digital India will be changing here, and a new twist will be introduced.
Will you use WhatsApp for sending money to your friends and to buy services? Do let us know by commenting right here!