It changed the Indian messaging landscape in the mid-2010. Seven years and 200 million users later, can WhatsApp play a disruptor again – this time in India’s hectic digital-payments space? The San Francisco, California-based company owned by Facebook joins other global heavyweights such as Google, Amazon, Uber, Samsung, and Truecaller that offer Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payments in India. It will also take on home-grown players such as Paytm, PhonePe, MobiKwik, FreeCharge, and the government-backed BHIM.
Merchant relationships hold the key
“Payments is no longer a technology challenge as it was five years ago, it’s more of an acceptance challenge,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO, Greyhound Research.
“Whatsapp has all the advantage to swing the numbers and lead the surge in peer-to-merchant payments,” says Gogia of Greyhound Research. “Having said that, WhatsApp’s biggest challenge will be Paytm for a while because Paytm’s acceptance has come over time and it has the right feet on the street. Whatsapp may have already won the major battle of achieving that critical mass, but it lacks feet on the street which is required in a country like India,” he adds.
Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Futurist, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Knowledge Group, a Global Strategy & Transformation Research, Advisory & Consulting Group. He also serves as Chief Analyst & CEO of Greyhound Research, a Global, Award-Winning, Independent Technology & Innovation Research, Advisory & Consulting firm. To read more about him, click here.
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