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Paytm takes on messaging apps with chat feature

Indian mobile wallet giant Paytm has added a chat feature to its app as it seeks to defend its ground against messaging outfits, such as Whatsapp, entering the payments space.

Initially only available on Android, Inbox lets users send each other audio, video, pictures and text, as well as money. A notifications feature shows cashback offers from merchants, while users can also play games.

With 225 million customers in India, the move will see Paytm offer up serious competition to Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which itself has 200 million monthly active users in the country.

The pair are likely to be rivals on two fronts in the near future, with WhatsApp widely expected to roll out a UPI-based P2P payments service in India in the next few months.

With a strong mobile market and the recent ban on high-value banknotes, India has seen a surge in electronic payments. Another popular messaging service, Hike, has already added a mobile wallet for P2P payments to its app.

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