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Paytm与WhatsApp:印度版的支付宝与微信?

印度的移动应用程序领域出现了有趣的业务重叠。

11月3日,印度最大的电子支付公司Paytm宣布推出一款名为Inbox的移动聊天应用,用户可通过此聊天工具进行转账。这款应用将发布Android版,iOS版也很快就会推出。

“我们发现用户和商家除了支付款项外,也喜欢相互交流。”Paytm高级副总裁Deepak Abbot在一份声明中这样说,“因此我们需要把社交消息、商品及支付无缝结合起来。”

这一消息发布的同时,有传言称聊天工具WhatsApp也正在开发个人对个人(P2P)支付功能,据报道该功能将于12月首次亮相。Paytm受到中国电子商务巨头阿里巴巴支持,但目前只在印度运营(在加拿大只有支付功能),而facebook旗下的WhatsApp拥有超过109个国家的用户。

如今,智能手机用户依赖电话或独立通讯应用来确认电子交易。如果有平台把手机与转账、即时确认交易能力相结合,它将使生活变得更加轻松。

纽约大学斯特恩商学院Anindya Ghose商学教授Heinz Riehl解释说,这种融合可能会产生巨大的协同效应。Ghose说:“用户在同一平台上完成支付,传递的信息就越来越多,而在这一平台上传递信息越多,在平台上完成的支付就越多。”

尽管WhatsApp支付功能的细节尚不清楚,但Inbox包含了所有常见的聊天功能。与WhatsApp一样,新的Paytm平台已经实现终端到终端加密,因此会话将有防篡改功能,更重要的是对话不再受监控。Inbox还允许用户发起私人对话、创建群组聊天、发送照片和视频、共享实时位置以及玩游戏。

Forrester research研究主管Ashutosh Sharma对Quartz说,Inbox是Paytm试图将客户留在产品系统并引导客户进行更多货币交易的一部分。不过,这家印度创业公司不应该到处尝试,而应该专注于自己的强项。Sharma表示:“Paytm应该努力把WhatsApp围困在P2P支付平台上,然后在商业交易中建立自己的业务。”该公司平台已经拥有超过150万商家,并计划在2017年底前将这一数字提高到500万。如果客户和企业能够在应用内实现远程通信,那么通过二维码,强大的离线功能将会稳步转化为电子交易。

“Paytm在印度处于领先地位,能够做到这一点。”夏尔马补充道,“但它的发展速度却非常慢。”

在Paytm的主要应用中,用户可以购买产品、电影票、机票等。该公司还通过旗下的Paytm购物中心建立了成熟的电子商务业务。即时通讯工具Inbox集成了这些功能。

“我认为,Paytm的未来方向是成为印度的微信。”Counterpoint Research的分析师Pavel Naiya对Quartz说,微信是中国的应用程序,用户可以利用微信玩游戏、进行P2P交易、视频通话、预订食物、阅读新闻、预约医生等等。根据FastCompany的说法,它是中国的“万能应用程序”。

如果这确实是Paytm的野心,它就会做出正确的举措。今年5月,印度央行启动了Paytm支付银行(Paytm Payments Bank),这是印度央行提高金融包容性的举措之一。Paytm Payments Bank不能贷款、发行信用卡或提供预付款,每个账户也只能10万卢比 (1540美元)。然而,它可以发行支票簿和借记卡,一旦与整个Paytm系统整合,它就有可能成为世界上最大的数字银行。

The Indian mobile apps space is in for some curious crossovers.

On Nov. 03, the country’s largest e-payments firm, Paytm, announced the launch of a mobile chat app called Inbox that will let users transfer money alongside chatting with each other. The app will debut on Android phones, with an iOS version following soon.

“We have realised that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other,” Deepak Abbot, a senior vice-president at Paytm, said in a statement. “There is a need for social messaging, commerce, and payments seamlessly blending into one another.”

The Indian mobile apps space is in for some curious crossovers.

On Nov. 03, the country’s largest e-payments firm, Paytm, announced the launch of a mobile chat app called Inbox that will let users transfer money alongside chatting with each other. The app will debut on Android phones, with an iOS version following soon.

“We have realised that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other,” Deepak Abbot, a senior vice-president at Paytm, said in a statement. “There is a need for social messaging, commerce, and payments seamlessly blending into one another.”

The Indian mobile apps space is in for some curious crossovers.

On Nov. 03, the country’s largest e-payments firm, Paytm, announced the launch of a mobile chat app called Inbox that will let users transfer money alongside chatting with each other. The app will debut on Android phones, with an iOS version following soon.

“We have realised that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other,” Deepak Abbot, a senior vice-president at Paytm, said in a statement. “There is a need for social messaging, commerce, and payments seamlessly blending into one another.”

“I think Paytm’s direction is to become WeChat of India in the future,” Pavel Naiya, an analyst at Counterpoint Research, told Quartz, referring to the Chinese app that lets users play games, make P2P transactions, make video calls, order food, read the news, book doctors’ appointments, and more. It is, according to FastCompany, China’s “app for everything.”

If that is indeed Paytm’s ambition, it is making the right noises. In May this year, it launched the Paytm Payments Bank, which is part of the Indian central bank’s move to boost financial inclusion in the country. The bank cannot lend money, issue credit cards or give advances, and each account can only have up to Rs1 lakh ($1,540). It can, however, issue cheque books and debit cards—and once integrated with the entire Paytm ecosystem, can potentially turn into the world’s largest digital bank.


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