Payments company Paytm will launche a messaging app called Inbox where users can send and receive money. The messaging app will also allow users to send pictures and videos and share live location. The app is not live on Android yet and will be available to iOS users soon. Note that Paytm has not mentioned whether the messaging app will use the UPI for sending money and receiving money or if it will be using balances in the Paytm wallet.

If Paytm Inbox will be using the UPI to transfer money, it is worth asking if it will allow users to link their existing virtual payment address (VPA) from other UPI apps or if it will ask users to create a new VPA using Paytm Payments Bank. MediaNama has written to Paytm for additional information and will update once we hear from them.

The development comes in the backdrop that WhatsApp is looking to start payments in India using the UPI. This would allow transfer of money from bank account to bank account. The moves from both the companies and this might lead to a shift in P2P payments rather than person-to-merchant payments.

With Inbox, it looks like Paytm is trying to build something similar to WeChat in China. The app will include Notifications, Orders, and Games. Under ‘Notifications’, users can see all cashback offers available across all categories and under ‘Orders’, they can view their order and transaction updates.  ‘Games’ will have engaging Cricket and trivia-based games.

Note it is unclear if Inbox will allow users to message in Indic languages. Remember that One97 communications acquired a messaging application Plustxt in August 2013. Plustxt is a messaging app that offered support for seven Indian languages besides English. These include Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Punjabi, Gujarati and Malayalam. However, instead of offering an in-app indic keyboard, the app offers indic word predictions based on the letter the user types, in a horizontally scrolling bar

Paytm versus WhatsApp

Whatsapp is in a different league, with over 200 million monthly active users (MAUs). Globally, a staggering 76% of Whatsapp’s 1.3 billion MAUs users are daily active users. Assuming the same ratio for India, Whatsapp would have 152 million daily active users. Paytm, it is reported, has 225 million users, but these are registered users, and not monthly active users.

Read more: Paytm launching a messaging service: On Paytm vs Whatsapp