Digital Payment Platforms Compared; Which Is The Right One For You?
We bring you a comparison of digital payment platforms in India so that you can make an informed choice and select the one which suits your needs the best.
With WhatsApp launching its payments service in India, it will be one more addition to an array of digital payment services available in the country. Though unlike others, Whatsapp has a distinct advantage with over 200 million active users under its belt.
Since the demonetisation back in November 2016, the push for the cashless payments and digital wallets has been immense. Lately several online, as well as offline establishments, have started accepting digital payments. Since WhatsApp Payments integrates UPI, users can send and receive money directly from or into their bank account.
But WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging app to bring in the payments feature in India. Hike Messenger is the first messaging app in India to integrate UPI followed by Paytm’s Inbox, which allows users to send and receive money instantly over chats.
What Does WhatsApp Payments Offer?
WhatsApp Payments offers a simple send and receive feature through the UPI account directly from within the chat window. Users need to link their bank account to their WhatsApp account via UPI. The verification process is similar to the one done on Google Tez or PhonePe.
If you have used UPI before, you don’t have to link your bank account to the number again, all you need to do is verify it with an OTP and create a four-digit UPI Pin for WhatsApp, which will be required for all your transactions on WhatsApp.
With other big players like Google Tez, Paytm, PhonePe, Hike already offering their own payment systems, WhatsApp’s entry has the potential to disrupt the present digital wallets ecosystem in the country.
Paytm Has A Complete Ecosystem
Paytm has its own digital wallet, a payments bank service and as well as UPI BHIM integration, which makes it the complete digital package. Recently the company has also launched its own messaging service Paytm Inbox, which pretty much does everything that Whatsapp can.
The UPI payment in Paytm is available on its platform as well as inside Inbox. Users can send or receive money via UPI which can be used to pay not just friends, but merchants as well. Paytm also has the option to pay by just entering the recipient’s Aadhaar number or by scanning a QR code. These features are still not available on any other wallets.
Further, Paytm is a broad platform which includes multiple services such as movie ticketing, flight booking, recharge, utility payments, bus tickets and hotels booking in addition to its own e-commerce channel, Paytm Mall.
Google Tez & PhonePe
Both Google Tez and Flipkart’s PhonePe are more of a payments apps than messengers. While PhonePe has a staggering command over the UPI market with around 45 percent share in total UPI and BHIM transactions, Tez is growing slowly in the digital payments space.
Both have options to pay for movie tickets, DTH recharge, mobile recharge, online stores and electricity bills by through UPI ID or a bank account number with IFSC code.
Google Tez also has a unique feature called Cash Mode. It allows users to pair their smartphones with nearby Tez users using audio signals and to send money into their bank accounts without sharing any bank details. PhonePe has also launched a similar PoS device for merchants where users can send money offline via Bluetooth, and users don’t need to share their bank details.
The State Of Digital Payment In India
The digital payment ecosystem in the country is still growing. The slow rate of growth is primarily due to two issues, adoption and awareness. There are still a large number of people who do not understand how these digital platforms work.
Though the UPI payments have worked with digital payment players like PhonePe or Paytm, users in tier 3 and 4 cities have not been using it, as much of the awareness has not been created yet. This despite the fact that the government has repeatedly been trying to push for a cashless economy.
So, Which One You Should Use?
If you are looking for diversity, it is going to be Paytm. The digital payments app offers payments, banking, lending and insurance and also offers mobile recharges, bill payments, utility payments, entertainment and travel booking among other services. Paytm wallet currently has over 300 million users and is accepted by over 6 million offline merchants across the country, making it the most widely used payments app in India.
PhonePe has done pretty well in the UPI-BHIM space. With Flipkart’s repeated push and innovation with features, PhonePe has done pretty well in the last one year. The recently launched Google Tez is catching up lately. If utility payments and bank transfers are your priority, both PhonePe and Tez work really well.
On the other hand, WhatsApp scores over the others with 200 million users already using it, though the payments feature on WhatsApp is currently limited to friends and contacts only. Tez and PhonePe allows users to send money to anyone with a bank account even if the user doesn’t have the app on their smartphone. The UPI in Paytm Inbox is similar to WhatsApp, and outside that, Paytm also allows its users to make UPI payments to anyone.
Now that you know about all the digital payment systems available in India, it will be easier to make an informed decision. Do let us know your preferences in the comments below.