E-payments have surged in India since a shock ban of high-value bank notes in November a year ago.
Hike Wallet allows both bank-to-bank payment via Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and Wallet to Wallet payment. Providers such as Paytm, backed by Alibaba and SoftBank Group, have rapidly increased their share of the market amid predictions it will jump almost 10 times to US$500 billion (RM2.1 trillion) by 2020.
Hike Messenger has launched the new Hike 5.0 featuring Hike Wallet, the first payment feature in a messaging app. The startup, valued at $1.4 billion past year after securing $175 million from investors including Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Foxconn Technology Group, now lets its 100 million-plus users move cash between banks and to other people through the country’s Unified Payments Interface gateway.
The Hike Wallet has been powered by Yes Bank and will allow free and instant bank-to-bank money transfer via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), besides free and instant money transfer via the wallet.
Making the announcement at a press conference in New Delhi on Tuesday, Hike Messenger founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal said that Hike Messenger is inspired from Tencent’s WeChat services in China, and finding ways to adapt them to India’s digital payments market.
With Hike Wallet users can also recharge their phones and pay postpaid bills right from inside the app. The company has raised over $260 million (approximately Rs 1,675 crore) from investors including Tiger Global, Tencent and Bharti SoftBank – a joint venture between Japan’s Softbank and India’s Bharti Enterprises. Swedish communications app Truecaller also started a mobile payment service in India this year based on the UPI platform.