Paytm has introduced a feature where users can send money directly from a phone book. However, this is limited to Android users and no word on when iOS and Windows Phone users will be able to do this. It seems that the feature is still not active at the moment (I checked), however, rival wallet service MobiKwik already has the feature in place.
To use this feature, open the Contacts list on your smartphone, select a contact, tap on ‘Send Money’ and enter the desired amount to send money.
NEW FEATURE: Now, Send Money to friends & family using Paytm directly through your Android Phonebook. Try it out ? pic.twitter.com/d1eE5Vr6Im
— Paytm (@Paytm) 2 August 2017
Simpler than messaging
Note that Paytm is reportedly looking to launch a messaging service complete with audio, video, pictures and texts. The Wall Street Journal termed this as Paytm taking aim at WhatsApp which is trying to build payment capabilities by integrating with the unified payments interface (UPI).
As Nikhil had pointed out, WhatsApp in India is in a league of its own. WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India and while Paytm has 225 million users, but these are registered users. Right now, it does not make sense for Paytm to launch a messaging service and it is wiser to build a more simple use case.
A MediaNama reader pointed out that the chat feature will primarily be used for getting payment acknowledgements but this was a roundabout way of doing things (hat tip: timeistheenemey). You have to enter a person’s number, send the money, open the chat feature and ask if they got it. As such, the integration with the phone book simplifies many of the steps and people get an immediate acknowledgement.