On 19th Feb 2014 history was made when Facebook bought the cross-platform messaging app Whatsapp for a whooping $19 billion dollars, one of Facebook’s largest acquisition ever made. And form then on the social giant owned company is known for make histories throughout its 9 years lifetime and because of its ever-adapting feature it has survived and has gathered one of the largest user-bases in the world. And one week from now history will be made yet again when Whatsapp launches its online payments service in India. The payment service was moved from its pilot phase and is planned to launch next week partnered with three of the biggest private banks in India namely – HDFC bank, ICICI bank and Axis bank. News is that the largest bank in India the State Bank of India (SBI) will also join Whatsapp payment service once all the rules, guidelines and necessary systems are in place, it is rumored that the SBI will join the company’s new service till August of 2018.
With more than 200 million users across India Whatsapp already has the user base set in place for the payments app as any new payments app or service first has to gain the trust of people and increase its user base but that is not the problem for Whatsapp as it is already used widely across the country. Almost every smartphone user has whatsapp installed in their phone which gives us an estimate of the Facebook owned Whatsapp’s popularity among users and their trust in the app.
Prominent payment apps in India like Paytm and Google’s Tez are already having sleepless nights as Whatsapp sets foot in the payments market. When launched Paytm and Tez had to make their user-base strong first before they gained popularity and become what they are today, but that doesn’t seem to be the problem for Whatsapp. Needless to say that the Facebook’s Whatsapp will be more than popular among the users as it was proven earlier in the pilot phase of the payments service which was launched for the Beta users of the app earlier this year. They received positive reviews from the users and so they decided to go through the launch of the payments service which can be used by all the active users.
This is a big advancement for Whatsapp, if it is well-received it will make history once again. Only time will tell how much competition it gives to Paytm and Tez which already established in the online payments sector. But one thing is for certain that the Whatsapp payments service will dominate the market.