WhatsApp prepping for digital payments segment entry in India
The firm is currently on the lookout for a Digital Transactions Lead, which will be able to handle customer support in India.
WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton had earlier shown interest in India's cashless drive and this entry is likely to disrupt the market status quo. Here's how.
WhatsApp's entry is bound to shake things up
WhatsApp's popularity is not due to demonetization
WhatsApp has 200 million users in India and this number is not due to demonetization, as is the case with other payment platforms.
It has steadily grown over the years and the users are more comfortable with it than the payment platforms.
By this statistics, if WhatsApp even manages a 40% conversion rate, it will emerge as a market leader within a quarter.
Money is not going to smoothen the way
Paytm has Alibaba backing it up and MobiKwik just announced Rs. 300crore expansion plan.
Truecaller has just entered the game with several strategic tie-ups to have a fighting chance.
WhatsApp will have the driving force of Facebook backing it up.
So now the question is, with money muscle at all of their disposals, what will give one of them that extra edge it needs?
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Space for more?
Is the digital payments section overcrowded?
Post demonetization, we have seen a massive hike in digital transactions with reports indicating a dearth of ATM withdrawals even after the economy stabilized.
Although, the more the merrier, but with the advent of so many digital platforms one can't help but wonder if there is actually space for all of them to survive together or are we going to see some fallback soon.
How is WhatsApp planning to handle rural penetration?
Getting a foothold in urban India may just be a matter of proper marketing and implementation but penetrating rural India, is something that even plagues home-grown players.
If WhatsApp really wants to make it big in India, it will have to address this problem head-on, which is going to be not a very easy feat for them.
BHIM, Aadhar pay may just quash them all
Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) and the newly introduced Aadhar Pay are the NDA government's initiatives for a cashless India drive.
You may beat the competition but pulling ranks on the government may just not be an easy task.
As per reports till December 2016, BHIM has witnessed 18 million downloads and there is no sign of it ever slowing down.
Time will have the last laugh
It is too early to actually put a finger and say this is how the entire scenario will play itself out.
With the market being stabilized post demonetization, reshuffling of ranks may easily happen.
All said and done, we can safely ascertain that India's cashless drive may be achieved sooner than projected if this momentum keeps on.
$19 billion deal from Facebook after being rejected
WhatsApp may have been acquired by Facebook on a $19 billion deal but WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton was once rejected by both Facebook and Twitter before he went about making a messaging platform that has almost 42 million messages sent through it every day.
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