WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app in India, with over 200 million users — more than it has in any other market. And to capitalize on this, the company is reportedly planning to launch a digital payments service in the country some time in the coming months.
What exactly WhatsApp will offer users isn’t clear at this point, but the move is logical, perhaps even necessary. Since Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for $22 billion, the app has continued to grow in popularity and now boasts more than 1.2 billion users. But, it has yet to find a way to monetize its user base.
Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani welcomed popular instant messaging app WhatsApp’s possible entry into India’s digital payments space. According to a job advertisement on WhatsApp’s website, the company is looking to hire a digital transactions lead in India with a technical and financial background and “ability to understand and explain UPI (Unified Payments Interface), BHIM, Aadhar number”. India is WhatsApp’s biggest market, Nandan Nilekani, the architect of biometrics-based citizen identification program Aadhaar, said on microblogging site Twitter: “It looks like WhatsApp is joining the WhatsApp moment in Indian banking!”
Over the weekend i found some interesting snippets “The Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday the 14th, that 75 cities will be designated cashless/less-cash townships, with an overwhelming 56 of them being in Gujarat.”
I was aware about disruption in banking, but the following comment by Barclays Ex ceo made me really think that Banking is headed for serious disruption in more immediate future than I initially thought
“18 months ago I gave a speech about approaching the Uber moment in financial services. I suspect we might be beginning to see some Uber moments popping up. For example, branch traffic has almost halved in the last 5 years in the UK, ATM usage is declining, Scandinavian countries are talking about going completely cashless. We’re beginning to see some of these Uber moments happening.”
Jenkins, who was CEO of Barclays from 2012 to 2015, forecast a series of Uber-style disruptions in the banking industry in late 2015. He said that advances in technology could shrink headcount at traditional big banks by as much as 50%, while profitability in some areas could collapse by over 60%.
And this one from an insurance company out of Japan
“A future in which human workers are replaced by machines is about to become a reality at an insurance firm in Japan, where more than 30 employees are being laid off and replaced with an artificial intelligence system that can calculate payouts to policyholders.
Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance believes it will increase productivity by 30% and see a return on its investment in less than two years. The firm said it would save about 140m yen (£1m) a year after the 200m yen (£1.4m) AI system is installed this month. Maintaining it will cost about 15m yen (£100k) a year”