Leading Indian mobile wallet provider Paytm unveiled a major upgrade of its app as it looks to fend off competition from Google, WhatsApp and Hike.
In its official blog, the company said the updated app included a new user interface, strengthened backend features, and a reduction in the number of steps needed to make a payment. Other changes include a greater number of options for depositing funds, personalisation features and enhanced security for person-to-person (P2P) payments.
The overhaul of the app comes as competition in the sector is set to hot-up with the imminent entry of WhatsApp. The Facebook-owned brand is one of the most popular chat services in India with an existing user base of around 200 million. WhatsApp’s payment feature is currently in beta testing ahead of full commercial launch.
India’s P2P payments market is also the subject of a strong play from Google, which launched its Tez app in the country in September 2017 and subsequently added chat features in a bid to widen its appeal. Instant message company Hike – which counts over 100 million users – also upgraded its platform to incorporate payments in June 2017.
In an apparent response to messaging apps encroaching on its traditional market, in November 2017 Paytm added chat to its core wallet app.
India’s digital payments market – which has already been the subject of dramatic growth in the last two years – is tipped to be worth $1 trillion annually by 2025. This includes both mobile and e-commerce transactions.
Earlier this week, Financial Times reported Paytm’s e-commerce affiliate Paytm Mall secured $445 million in a new round of funding from Alibaba and Softbank – valuing the division at $2 billion.