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Is WhatsApp the Future of Payments in India?

Reliance Jio’s Summer Surprise Offer is one of the biggest talking points in this week’s episode of Orbital, our weekly podcast on technology. Telecom industry watchers Gopal Sathe and Rishi Alwani join host Pranay Parab to talk about the latest offer from Reliance Jio and later – WhatsApp’s rumoured interest in exploring person-to-person UPI payments in India.

After its Happy New Year Offer, Reliance Jio announced another offer called Summer Surprise and that’s good news for the people who use the service as it means they get free usage for three more months. Gopal and Rishi talk about whether this is a great offer or whether other telcos’ allegation of anti-competitive practices have any truth to them.

We then discuss how Reliance Jio could be creating an entire ecosystem around its services and whether it will succeed in making people use its services even after the free trial ends. We talk about Jio Prime and what the company gains by offering discounted rates to those who sign up for it. 

Then we talk about Google’s launch of the YouTube Go app in India, and whether it makes sense to launch this now when more people have access to 4G data at cheaper rates than ever before. We then talk about what’s in this deal for advertisers, who are YouTube’s primary clients. 

Finally, we talk about WhatsApp’s rumoured interest in enabling person-to-person payments in India. We talk about how exciting this feature would be for several businesses that function almost entirely on WhatsApp and whether UPI is the best way to implement payments on the app. 

That’s all for this week’s episode of Orbital, which you can subscribe to via iTunes or RSS, or just hit the play button below.

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