Published: 11/6/2020

Good morning, it's Friday and we're off to a cracker today with the WhatsApp Pay rollout being announced today. We're also inching closer to the end of the US Presidential Election and by the next newsletter we should have the results. I also scooped some interesting developments in the KiranaTech space that surprisingly none of the mainstream tech publications have found yet.

  • https://tcrn.ch/3eDG6XG: WhatsApp expands their Payment rollout in India
  • ➡️ This is a moment we have been waiting for the entirety of 2020 but NPCI has finally given WhatsApp the green-light to roll out WhatsApp Pay from its initial small cohort to 20M users in a "graded manner". I personally just got access this morning and P2P payments are so much faster vs Google Pay.

    ➡️ WhatsApp is working with 5 banks to roll out its UPI payments- ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, the State Bank of India, and Jio Payments Bank. I had initially skimmed over this part until someone pointed out Jio Payments Bank on the list, which probably benefits Reliance more than Facebook in this case.

    ➡️ Currently 80% of all UPI transactions happen on just 2 apps- Google's Google Pay & Walmart's PhonePe with the rest of the transactions happening over Alibaba-backed Paytm & Amazon's Amazon Pay. In October, there were also a total of 2B transactions over the Interface so it will probably be a while before WhatsApp becomes a major player.

    ➡️ The news also comes at a time where NPCI is enforcing a rule that no single app can process more than 30% of all UPI transactions in a month (which I think is really stupid and have talked about previously). Existing apps have 2 additional years to comply with these developments though so it shouldn't impact Google or Walmart in the short term. And who knows, there might be a 30-30-30 split between Google, Walmart and Facebook by then with Amazon & Paytm fighting over the remainder.

    ➡️ I'm super excited to see this roll out further and reach the 400M Indians on WhatsApp. I think WhatsApp has the potential to further propel the digitization of retail in the country and think we're going to see a bunch of commerce with WhatsApp Catalogs + WhatsApp Pay. And who knows, maybe WhatsApp launches their own mini app ecosystem following WeChat's successes in China.

    2. Whats new in KiranaTech

    ➡️ No news story related to this, but we have some interesting developments in the payroll management space. First up, we have the incumbent Pagarbook launching their web product. It seems like the web products works alongside the mobile app, but lets business owners get deeper insights into managing their staff.

    ➡️ It is also probably easier for business with over a certain employee size to manage payroll & attendance on a web app on their computers (for those who have access to one) rather on their smaller phone screen. The company also plans to charge for the product, ₹1,999.00 for an annual subscription and is probably the first of the mobile-first SMB SaaS companies to start charging for their products.

    ➡️ The company & founders have repeatedly talked about the fact that MSMEs are willing to pay for software if they see an actual use for it. Tally, the accounting service, has over 2M paying SME customers. Pagarbook already has over 5M SMEs using its product (a number that is growing quickly) and I'm sure their web product will see a decent adoption.

    ➡️ In even more interesting news, both Khatabook & OkCredit have launched their payroll/pagar management apps recently. OkCredit's OkStaff has 1000+ installs while Khatabook's Pagarkhata just crossed 100 installs. I took both apps for a quick spin and they were both pretty intuitive and clearly took heavy inspirations from Pagarbook.

    ➡️ I'm going to reiterate my stance that I think it's perfectly fine for companies to take ideas from each other and building each other's features as long as they don't steal their source code. I can see how it makes sense for both OkCredit & Khatabook to release their own versions of this product as they seem to be building a suite of products for these SMEs and if they can convince someone to use one of their products it gets easier to onboard them onto the second and third and so forth.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/artijourno/status/1324580503479934976

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