Hike likely to roll out payments platform before Whatsapp
Hike Messenger is set to launch a payments mechanism on its app that will be linked to the government-backed unified payments interface (UPI), a move that can make the messaging app the first in India to have the capability ahead of peers such as WhatsApp. Hike messenger is yet to make money. It will only start making money by 2018, perhaps 2020 as stated by its founder Kavin Bharti Mittal. The 28-year old is sun of Sunil Bharti Mittal, the founder of Bharti Airtel.
The home-bred messaging app, which raised $175 million last year from Tencent and Foxconn, valuing the company at $1.4 billion, may launch peer-to-peer payments within the app and provide a platform for making digital transactions such as recharges for mobile phone subscriptions, people aware of the company’s plans.
The app is holding talks with an Indian bank to support the back end of the payments service, it will look at integrating payments into the app and making the messenger a platform for making purchases from the app, a model which has a lot of resemblance with WeChat, the Chinese super-app backed by Tencent.
By launching payments, Hike would become the closest competitor to Facebook-owned Whatsapp, which is planning to launch payments in India in the next six months.The largest messaging app in the world, which considers India as its biggest market with over 200 million users, may also introduce payments based on UPI and BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money).
The service may be one of several new features that it may add, learning from WeChat and QQ chat apps. Both WeChat and QQ that have over 1 billion and 800 million users respectively in China, allow user.