On Sunday, mobile payments platform Paytm stated that its messaging feature, ‘Paytm Inbox’, had garnered more than three million users in the first two days of launch.
Just last week (on November 3), the company had announced ‘Paytm Inbox’, their messaging service which allows users to chat, as well as send/request money to friends and family.
Along with users, the company claimed that more than 15 million messages were exchanged on the platform, with close to 40 percent of the overall traffic coming from smaller cities and towns.
The company expects small businesses to be the biggest beneficiaries of this messaging feature, expecting them to grow sales. In a statement, the company said that consumers have already started to interact with local shopkeepers to place orders through Paytm Inbox.
Speaking about the growth, Deepak Abbot, Senior Vice President, Paytm said,
“Messaging is a core feature of any transaction. With Inbox, we have added a new dimension to payments and sending money, it be among friends and family or between a consumer and a merchant. In the offline world, making a payment is a part of an experience of commerce and the addition of messaging brings us one step closer to these experiential payments.”
According to the company, their platform saw over 150 million P2P (peer-to-peer) transactions over the last quarter.
And with the launch of their messaging platform (Paytm Inbox) and gifting envelope feature Lifafa, Paytm predicts faster growth for its money transfer used case.
Currently available for the Android version, Vijay revealed that iOS version of ‘Inbox’ will be soon available in the new update.
Speaking during a live chat session on Friday, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and CEO of Paytm, said,
“Paytm is looking to become a one-stop destination for everything consumers want to do like shopping, payments, etc."
“Paytm is looking to be a destination where you could do everything that can be done in the physical world. We want to be the internet company from India that won’t stop at one thing and we would do as many things we can. Messaging won’t be the first or last thing that we are going to do.”
While answering a query from YourStory on the Inbox’s niche compared to other social media platforms, Vijay said that messaging is a core feature of any transaction.
He further explained saying that embedding messaging in a payment and commerce app is like going to a restaurant and also having an ice cream - no need to go to an ice-cream parlour.
“So you should use Paytm for transactions or something that is deeply integrated or you are welcome to use just the chat otherwise also,” Vijay said .
Paytm isn’t the only company experimenting with social messaging and payments or commerce.
There have been talks in the market about social messaging giant WhatsApp launching its UPI-based payment service in India. This is expected to go live by December this year. The messaging platform, touted to have 200 million users in India, also has plans of carrying a green badge that verifies numbers linked to businesses on the platform.
This year also saw home-grown messaging company Hike launch its payment feature, powered by UPI. It also launched its own gifting feature, similar to Paytm’s Lifafa and China-based WeChat Pay’s ‘Red Packet’, called ‘Blue Packet’.
It seems that for market leader Paytm, a predominant section of the market is Tier-2 and Tier-3 towns. For a period starting September 20 to October 20, the company claimed to have processed transactions worth $1.6 billion with more than 60 percent of incoming growth coming from Tier-2 and 3 towns.
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