Hike Messenger launches payment services

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 12, 2018


Partners with YES Bank; to integrate with UPI platform to enable transfers between bank a/cs

In a bid to stay ahead of the curve, home-grown instant messaging app Hike Messenger has launched payment services on its platform. This comes even as the largest messaging platform, WhatsApp, makes plans to enter the digital payments space in India.

Hike will not only include a mobile wallet on its platform but will also integrate with the National Payments Corporation of India’s UPI platform to allow in-app transfers between two bank accounts. “Not only are we the first (messaging app) to offer payments in the country but this also makes Hike the biggest UPI platform in the country because we have over 100 million registered users,” Hike Messenger Founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal told BusinessLine.

Hike has partnered with YES Bank for the service.

According to market analysts, mobile payments are a logical next step for messaging platforms as they have millions of users on their platform. In an interview with BusinessLine in February, WhatsApp Co-Founder Brian Acton had said that the the Facebook owned company is in talks with the Centre to see how WhatsApp can be used for civic engagements, e-commerce and digital transactions and payments.

Different strategy

Hike, however, won’t be looking at getting merchants on board the app, something wallet companies such as Paytm are aggressively into. Instead, the company is working with banks to see how offline retailers can start using UPI for payments and how Hike can act as a means for that. Mittal said Hike has been working closely with WeChat, a part of its investor Tencent, to bring payments to India.

The company is also trying to become a platform wherein a user can do anything from shopping to mobile recharges to other bill payments from within the app, eliminating the need for multiple mobile apps.

The model has been successfully implemented by WeChat in China. However, WeChat itself hasn’t been successful in India. Hike is therefore trying to localise some of the features here.

Published on June 20, 2017

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