WhatsApp for Business kick-starts with BookMyShow; Ola, Oyo will follow
WhatsApp in the bid to monetize its platform had launched, what it calls, "WhatsApp for Business" for certain select organizations. Now, the things are slowly picking up momentum and its biggest user base i.e. India is witnessing various collaborations and integration, which would not only bring revenue to the firm but will also change the way we interact with businesses. Here's more about it.
WhatsApp integration with BookMyShow
One of the earliest Indian businesses, that's making use of this feature, is the tickets booking platform BookMyShow. It informed its users that from now on, it will be sending the confirmation of booked tickets via WhatsApp. The message read "We will use this chat to send your ticket confirmation…To stop receiving messages from us, please reply with 'Stop'."
Expect more on this end
This collaboration is not a one-off thing. FactorDaily's BookMyShow source said, "(We are) not piloting - we have integrated with WhatsApp for sending confirmation…and in more than (one) way… The conversations are on various fronts." Although the extent of this integration is not known yet, one can safely assume that in the future BookMyShow would also conduct financial transactions via this platform.
Ola, OYO Rooms, airlines
Reports suggest that WhatsApp is also negotiating with firms, such as Ola, OYO and a motley of airlines for the same. WhatsApp's Neeraj Arora had said earlier, "If you book an Uber or an Ola, and when the taxi is arriving, you can get the notification, call the driver through the app…(though) you will not be able to book the taxi from WhatsApp."
What can you expect?
If things fall into place, Ola will start sending its one-time-passwords and invoices via WhatsApp. Booking confirmations and invoices of OYO may also come via WhatsApp in future. On query, OYO executive replied rather cryptically, saying, "We're great fans of WhatsApp," while others refrained from making a comment. WhatsApp verified badge is, however, the first step. The biggie is WhatsApp Payments, which comes later.
What's in the future?
WhatsApp has already received a go ahead from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to let users make in-app payments, using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI). Now that WhatsApp for Business has been rolled out, this is expected to follow suit. Ideally, the user would be able to make use of it as easily as he/she currently uses other mobile wallets or payments app.