Hike Messenger has launched a mobile wallet and UPI (Unified Payments Interface) payments for its more than 10 crore registered users in India in partnership with Yes Bank, ahead of the proposed launch of similar services by the much larger multinational rival WhatsApp. This launch makes Hike the largest UPI-based platform in India. WhatsApp is reportedly working on making a foray into digital payment services, starting with India. The Facebook-owned messaging app has about 20 crore users in India.
These services will be available on the 5.0 version of Hike’s mobile messaging app. This offering will allow users to do free and instant, bank-to-bank transfers through UPI, money transfers via wallet, and recharges right from the mobile app, Hike Messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said.
“Over the last six months, we have been working to bring a brand new experience to our users with one question in mind –How do we take all the things that users love about Hike and make it even better? Hike 5.0 is our most ambitious step in that direction till date…Hike 5.0 is the biggest update we’ve released in the history of Hike. We’ve worked closely with over 100 of our top hikers to build 5.0. It’s been built by our users for our users. With App themes, Night theme and Magic Selfie Hike 5.0 is packed with some incredibly personal touches that are meant to delight our users. With Hike 5.0 you can personalise your Hike world,” he added.
UPI stands for Unified Payments Interface, launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in August last year to accelerate the adoption of digital payments in the country. Post demonetisation, there has been a massive growth in digital transaction volumes in India, including credit and or debit cards, mobile banking and or m-wallets and UPI.
Hike Messenger is the first messaging platform in India to launch payments facility. With the launch of Hike 5.0, Hike has also reduced the app size to just 25MB despite adding all these features and has also added 128-bit SSL encryption which ensures that the communication is encrypted.
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The user interface of the messenger app has also been improved along with new features being added to the camera on the app. Some noticeable new features of Hike 5.0 include the Magic Selfie (machine learning based beautification feature), Text to Stickers (supported by all regional languages), App Themes (such as Blue, Zen, Night), Chat Themes, and Auto Night Mode. Multiple likes are also now possible on a single post by a single user.
Another interesting feature of this service is a feature named ‘Blue Packet’. Explaining this feature, Hike said “users can choose from over 10 different beautifully crafted envelopes and also add a personalised message to it to celebrate those special occasions. A Blue Packet can be sent to an individual or even a group of friends. If you give Blue Packets to a group of your friends, you can have a little fun and select how many people in the group should get it. It works on a first come first serve basis and a Blue Packet when sent expires in 24 hours.”