How WhatsApp’s UPI payment feature is different from Paytm, Google Tez and others
Facebook-owned instant messaging platform WhatsApp last week started rolling out UPI-based payment feature to select users in India. While the feature hasn't been officially rolled out but a lot of WhatsApp users on iOS and Android have already received the feature.
Analysts believe WhatsApp's UPI-based payment feature will be a major boost to the digital payment landscape in India. Also, the feature will help the government backed UPI-platform see a wider adoption in the country, thanks to WhatsApp's massive userbase. The instant messaging application has more than 200 million users in India.
India already has UPI players in the scene primarily after BHIM UPI launched back in December 2016. WhatsApp's integration of UPI on the platform does pose a threat to existing players particularly dedicated payment apps Paytm and Google Tez. At the same time, it also increases challenges for those apps which are vying to make a presence through messaging services like Hike and Truecaller.
All the aforementioned apps have UPI enabled on their platforms since the past year. Here's a breakdown of what each app offers along with the option to send and receive money via UPI.
Paytm is the largest digital wallet platform in India. What started as a simple digital wallet to store money, and make payments has now emerged to a much bigger platform. Paytm comes bundled with many features including 'Paytm Mall' which is its own e-commerce platform. Paytm also offers its own Payments Bank where people can create their digital debit card and perform banking functions.
It has BHIM UPI integrated for making UPI-based transactions. Competing against the likes of WhatsApp, Paytm launched its messaging service 'Inbox' last November. Under Paytm Inbox, you can find your chats, notifications, orders, and games. Within chat you can also send and receive money and send other files like pictures, and your location. You can however not view someone's profile on Paytm Inbox.
Google joined in on India's digital payment scene last September with the launch of 'Tez'. The search giant's mobile payment service, Google Tez is available on iOS and Android. Google Tez allows users to transfer money through their bank accounts, and other services including UPI, QR code, and phone number.
Another interesting feature available on Google Tez is 'Cash Mode'. This feature essentially allows users to send money to those nearby. This feature eliminates the need to share details like your bank account number or phone number while transferring money.
In-house messaging app, Hike is a direct competitor to WhatsApp. Over the past few months, Hike has been introducing new features on its platform. Some of these include Snapchat-like Stories, Timeline for posts, and most importantly 'Hike Wallet'. Launched in June 2017, Hike also has its own wallet service like Paytm. Through Hike Wallet, users can send and receive money and recharge mobile numbers. Within Hike Wallet you will find the UPI option which is powered by BHIM UPI and YES Bank.
Truecaller is also one such app which has tried to infuse different features on its platform. The app which started as a Caller ID and phone number identifier now has many other tools to offer. Truecaller offers its custom dialer, contacts list and messaging inbox which can replace the existing ones on your devices.
Truecaller introduced its UPI payment service last March. Truecaller's UPI works on three different methods which include sending money, scanning and paying, and recharging mobile bills.