WHILE THE GOVERNMENT has been successful in launching new payment mechanisms, companies are discovering new uses for these that go beyond just plain vanilla payment bank transfers. According to The Economic Times, Hike would become the first chat platform in the country to integrate Unified Payments Interface within the app. Working with one of the banking entities,the service would not only allow peer to peer transfer but also help in making mobile payments, like recharges.
Although the concept is not new—Axis has had this feature forlong—what UPIwould allow is interoperability of transfers. So,while using the Axis service, one could only send money to an Axis Bank customer, UPIwouldallowchatinterfacetransferstoanyone linking their account to Hike.More important,with the company talking about integrating more merchants, the payments may go beyond peer-to-peer transactions.
Hikemayjustbethefirstentrant.WithWhatsAppandFacebookplanningtooffer similar services,Indiamaywellbecomethehubforpeer-to-peer and merchant transactions using chat services. With a lot of companies looking at incorporating personal assistants,transfers may become less cumbersome.Take,for instance,China’sexperiment with WeChat,a service backed byTencent which is also an investor in Hike.
WeChat been growing—one estimate is it handles $500 billion worth of payments each year.But these platforms would also come with security issues that companies would need to address.Given the security problems associated with chat platforms, companies would have to ramp up their security to conform to RBI standards and, more important,gain faith amongst users in the country.With a PRICE survey highlighting that most people use internet for chat and social networking services,integrating payment services can certainly be one way to get them to go cashless.