Digital payments company Paytm is planning to integrate a messaging functionality into its mobile payments service in order to let users send texts and photos, as well as audio and video messages. According to a new report, the upcoming messaging tool has been in development for three months now and could be rolled out to the Paytm service at some point this month, though nothing is confirmed as of this writing.
The move marks Paytm’s latest push in the instant messaging space in India, where the company currently has 225 million users. With the upcoming functionality, Paytm hopes to expand its user base and boost their engagement by providing them with a versatile and straightforward service. Paytm also previously introduced a feature to its service meant to provide a level of protection to users against fraud. The feature is called Wallet Insurance, and as the name suggests, it offers a refund of up to Rs. 20,000 ($300) in case a Paytm wallet is hacked or a device has been lost. For a claim to be acknowledged, a victim user must report the incident to Paytm within 12 hours and file a police report within 24 hours, after which the company will launch its own probe of the claim for verification and close the victim’s account immediately.
It remains to be seen how Paytm’s upcoming messaging functionality fares in the Indian market, where WhatsApp currently dominates the instant messaging space, along with other similar services like Viber and Line. But given Paytm’s large user base in the country, it may not be that hard to get people to also use its upcoming messaging solution. Paytm’s messaging feature is expected to tighten the rivalry in India’s instant messaging segment, especially with WhatsApp, which coincidentally is also rumored to introduce a mobile payments service in the country powered by UPI, a cross-bank payments system with support from the Indian government. While specific details of Paytm’s instant messaging efforts remain unknown at this point, the company may detail its ambitions in this segment in the coming weeks. Provided that the latest report is accurate, Indian consumers should all be able to start communicating using Paytm by the end of the year.