The made in India messaging platform “Hike”, introduces the wallet feature to its messaging platform. Hike is the first messaging platform in India to have an integrated wallet. Hike announced this feature, in the new Hike 5.0 update. Hike 5.0 reinforces Hike’s vision of simplifying how people connect with others and changes the way they interact with content and services on mobile.

Hike Wallet

“Over the last 6 months, we’ve been working to bring a brand new experience to our users with one question in mind – How do we take all the things that users love about Hike and make it even better? Hike 5.0 is our most ambitious step in that direction till date.” said Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike Messenger.

There are 3 main aspects of Hike Wallet:

  • Free and instant money transfer:
    • Bank-to-bank via UPI: With Unified Payments Interface (UPI) support enabled in Hike 5.0, users can now do free and instant bank-to-bank transfers with their friends. What’s exciting is that this works even if their friends aren’t on Hike.
    • Wallet to Wallet: For those who don’t actively use a bank account, Hike still allows you to send and receive money with your friends through the Wallet.
  • Blue Packets: A Blue Packet is simply a beautifully designed envelope that users can insert money into and send to their friends. Users can choose from over 10 different beautifully crafted envelopes and also add a personalised message to it to celebrate those special occasions. A Blue Packet can be sent to an individual or even a group of friends. If you give Blue Packets to a group of your friends, you can have a little fun and select how many people in the group should get it. It works on a first come first serve basis and a Blue Packet when sent expires in 24 hours!
  • Recharge: With Hike 5.0, users can now recharge their phones and pay their postpaid bill right from inside Hike. This removes the need to have one more app just for paying mobile bills, thereby saving space on their phone and removing the need for them to add yet another app.

With more than 100 million registered users currently on Hike Messenger, this launch makes Hike the largest UPI based platform in India overnight. Yes Bank is the banking partner enabling Hike to launch UPI and the Wallet. UPI, stands for Unified Payments Interface, launched by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in August last year to accelerate the adoption of digital payments in the country.

Hike Wallet

Kavin further added, “With Blue Packets, we’re going to change the way people send and receive money. We believe we can make that experience fun and also a new form of messaging. Can money be the new Sticker? We believe so. That’s the idea. Our users celebrate so many special moments in their lives. It could be from a simple Thank You or Congratulations to a Happy Birthday. We hope with Blue Packets we can give our users a new avenue to express themselves. We’re really excited about the possibilities with this and can’t wait to see how people use it”.

With the launch of Hike 5.0, Hike has also reduced the app size to just 25MB despite adding all these features and has also added 128-bit SSL encryption that ensures that communication across the air and wire networks, is completely encrypted.

To experience the All New Hike 5.0 with Packets, just download the latest Hike messenger update from the Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS.

The rollout to Android and iOS users will be completed by June 25, while the wallet feature will be made available to Apple phone users by end of July.

Hike 5.0 features:

  • Hike 5.0 is an all new, visually delightful social experience. Express yourself with colourful App Themes, Night mode and an all new Magic Selfie
  • Enjoy the popular Timeline again, now with text, image, link sharing and comments
  • Hike introduces Hike Wallet, making money a new form of social expression:
    • Make free and instant bank-to-bank transfers through UPI
    • Recharge mobiles and transfer money to your friends and family on Hike Wallet
    • Express yourself with your friends and family – have fun and celebrate special moments with Blue Packets
  • Security with 128-bit SSL encryption
  • Hike reduces app size from 40MB+ to just 25MB – it’s sleeker, faster, better.

The move towards digital payment comes ahead of rival Whatsapp, (owned by Facebook) who is also working on a digital payment wallet. Hike, which is a part of Bharti Enterprises, had raised USD 175 million in funding last year, led by Tencent Holdings and Foxconn Technology Group. Interestingly Tencent owned chinese messaging app Wechat also offers digital wallet to its users.

According to a news article dated 26-May-2017 published in smart investor, Facebook has filed an application with the Indian Patent Office for a digital wallet that will be integrated to its messaging platforms. Facebook’s India patent application integrates a system which would allow users to link any payment instrument — credit card, debit card, bank account, etc — to their instant messaging account and make payments to other users by sending a message. Facebook says its system will have several advantages over conventional payment applications. However, Facebook makes no mention of WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, instead making references to a messaging system.

Hike and Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp will compete with established players like Alibaba backed Paytm, who has taken the Indian digital wallet market by storm. India consumers made about 89 mn transactions on mobile apps in April, transacting Rs 2,200 crore between them and businesses, according to the Reserve Bank of India data. Considering the user base of Whatsapp and Facebook, the digital wallet of both these companies will eat away the market share of Paytm and other Indian players significantly. Hike would face challenge directly from Whatsapp since the later is backed by Facebook, which has more money in their kitty.

Similarly we also need to see how the Indian consumers take an app like Hike which is more like a one app for all your needs. Hike might be following the footsteps of Wechat which has integrated both messaging and ecommerce functionalities to its platform. It will be interesting to see how Indian users will adopt these functionalities considering the challenges posed by Indian users.