WhatsApp has verified some business accounts where a green tick will appear next to their contacts.

WhatsApp launches business offering with BookMyShow Ola Oyo to be integrated soon
Atom WhatsApp Monday, September 04, 2017 - 16:51

WhatsApp has no doubt become the default messaging app for several millions across the world, especially in India. After establishing its popularity in India with over 200 million users in India, the messaging app is now looking to monetize the platform through its business offering.

According to a report by FactorDaily, WhatsApp has collaborated with online ticketing platform BookMyShow (BMS) to send ticket confirmations. A user posted a picture on Twitter where it received a WhatsApp message from BMS saying “We will use this chat to send your ticket confirmation. To stop receiving messages from us, please reply with ‘Stop’.”

This comes after WhatsApp received National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)’s approval to allow its users to make in-app payments using the Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

And it appears that BMS is not the only company that is using WhatsApp’s latest business offering ‘WhatsApp for Business’. The messaging platform is reportedly in talks at other players like taxi aggregator Ola and hotel room aggregator Oyo Rooms as well. A few airlines too may soon follow suit.

A BMS source told FactorDaily the collaboration was beyond the pilot testing stage and that it has integrated WhatsApp for confirmations. In fact, there are conversations going on for integrations on various fronts.

In fact, in an interview in November 2016, Neeraj Arora, head of business at WhatsApp’s California headquarter told Hindustan Times that the fact that all kinds of people use WhatsApp as a mode of communication, gives companies who want  to target advertisements, a large variety of people to talk to.

While he added that WhatsApp will never allow banner ads or a large placement ad that will cover the screen, simple things like airlines sending a notification, boarding pass or the ticket on WhatsApp when you book a flight, or Uber or Ola giving you a notification when the taxi is arriving are things WhatsApp was looking at.

FactorDaily reports that at least two private airline companies are in touch with WhatsApp to enable distribution of tickets and boarding passes.

In fact, in its FAQ section, WhatsApp talks about exploring ways to communicate with businesses.

It says that it has verified some business accounts. Meaning, WhatsApp has confirmed that the phone number of this contact belongs to a business account.

WhatsApp business verification, the messaging platform says, is currently limited to a small number of businesses participating in a pilot program.

“WhatsApp will also let you know when you start talking to a business via yellow messages inside a chat. There is no way to delete these messages from the chat. If you already have a business's phone number saved in your address book, the name you will see is the name you have saved in your address book…If you'd like to stop a business from contacting you, you can block them,” the FAQs state.

As mentioned earlier, WhatsApp is also working on integrating payments into its app. After receiving an approval, it has been in talks with several banks for the same.

However, a senior executive at another wallet company, who didn’t want his or his company’s name taken, told FactorDaily that for UPI to work, the registered SIM card needs to be present on the same phone which has the UPI account for authentication reasons.

WhatsApp is currently Sim agnostic. Meaning, as long as one manages to access the one-time-password sent to the mobile number, WhatsApp can be used on any Sim.

However, while WhatsApp for business will be a first in the messaging platform industry, it is definitely not the first one to integrate payments into its app.

Kavin Mittal’s Hike Messenger integrated payments onto its platform in June. Along with a mobile wallet, it integrated the UPI platform to allow in-app purchases between two bank accounts. It tied up with YES Bank for the service.

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.