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General News Paytm rolls out in-app messaging feature ‘Inbox’ to take on WhatsApp
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Sometime back Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma had been asked on social media about that one feature he regrets not having on his app. And he’d promptly replied – messaging. It took Paytm, the country’s largest digital payments firm, a major push from WhatsApp to roll out a messaging feature within its app. Just as WhatsApp is on the verge of debuting its payments feature in India, Paytm has rolled out ‘Inbox’ — that will allow its 230 million users to share photos, videos, contacts, live locations as well as make payments via a single app interface.

The core purpose is to make people chat and transact simultaneously. “We have realized that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other. There is a need of social messaging, commerce and payments seamlessly blending into one another. One step for us towards meeting this consumer need is Paytm Inbox,” Deepak Abbot, senior vice-president at Paytm, stated. Paytm Inbox also comes with an in-built camera similar to WhatsApp’s. The app is live on Android, and will soon roll out on the iOS platform.

All messages sent via Paytm Inbox would be encrypted end-to-end, allowing users to have private conversations and create group chats. Paytm has also added a ‘Delete for All’ feature, allowing users to recall their messages. This is entirely similar to WhatsApp’s recently released ‘Delete for Everyone’ feature. To enhance the user experience and make it a one-stop app, Paytm Inbox also includes ‘Notifications, ‘Orders’, and ‘Games’. Users can track all their orders, view cashbacks across categories, as well engage in trivia-based games.

This is clearly aimed at increasing stickiness of the app in the wake of rising competition in the messaging and payments space. Paytm also believes that Inbox would allow merchants to interact with their customers as well as initiate payments seamlessly. Before Paytm, though, homegrown messenger Hike had enabled an in-apps payments feature running on UPI. Last month, search giant Google too rolled out a made-for-India mobile wallet Tez. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they added a social messaging feature to it going ahead. And then there’s WhatsApp that is in the final stage of testing its payments feature, and is likely to roll it out next month. Surely there’s a lot happening here!

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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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