Next time when you buy something online, you may get the confirmation text on your WhatsApp number. Well, there is nothing to be much surprised about as WhatsApp is about to launch its first revenue-generating product in India.
WhatsApp for Business APIs (application programming interface) will begin with MakeMyTrip and pharma delivery startup 1mg, which uses Zendesk in India.
Also Read: 4 WhatsApp Features That Are Creating A Buzz
This will let businesses respond to messages from users for free for up to 24 hours but after that, companies will be charged with a fixed rate per message sent after that.
“Businesses will still only be able to message people who contacted them first, but the API will help them programmatically send shipping confirmations, appointment reminders or event tickets. Clients also can use it to manually respond to customer service inquiries through their own tool or apps like Zendesk, MessageBird or Twilio,” TechCrunch revealed in a report.
WhatsApp has been testing this service with Bookmyshow since September 2017 and this is their first attempt at monetising the option. Kotak Mahindra and RedBus are other big names that are using this currently.
Customers will get the option to interact with the company directly for their doubts, and other requirements.
WhatsApp clearly has an advantage over direct SMS as message delivery can be confirmed. Companies will also have their money as WhatsApp will look to charge them as minimum as possible.
On talking about this, Sampad Swain, chief executive officer of Instamojo said: “SMS services cost enterprises around 10 paise for each message on an average and even if there are 1 crore transactions happening daily on a platform, the cost for the whole year is really huge, WhatsApp will be able to bring down costs drastically and bring in an added layer of comfort while interacting with the customer.”
To ensure that companies reply quickly, WhatsApp has developed a way by which companies will be charged extra if they don’t respond to the queries of customers within 24 hours.
This option was on hold as the founders of WhatsApp were opposed to monetising through advertisements. With over 200 million users in India alone, WhatsApp is aggressive to capture Indian market.