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BlackBerry launches BBM Money with HotRemit in India to transfer money to contacts

BlackBerry Launches BBM Money With HotRemit In India To Transfer Money To Contacts

Smartphone maker BlackBerry and Digitsecure1, a payments platform which runs HotRemit2, have partnered3 to bring BBM Money to India. The company had started4 the digital remittance service in Indonesia in 2014. BBM Money is an app which integrates directly with a customer s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) account, and allows users to pay for goods using the BBM platform. HotRemit is a BBM-connected app available for BlackBerry 10, Android and iOS platform and lets users transfer cash to BBM contacts instantly and securely. Note that this is limited to inter-BBM transfers only.

As far as we know, this is the only use case of a messenger application used for payments in India. If there are any other use cases let us know in the comments. In March last year, Facebook announced5 that it would be allowing peer-to-peer money transfers over its Messenger application and it would be rolled out first in the United States. LINE messenger in December 2014 said that it is looking at extending6 its mobile payment service LINE Pay globally. However, no word on India launches.


HotRemit is a social wallet app developed by Digitsecure that handles money transfers, including sending and requesting money, mobile top-up and DTH recharge using phone numbers. Digitsecure was given7 a prepaid payments instrument licence in July 2012 from the Reserve Bank of India to run a semi closed wallet. BlackBerry Messenger has 140 million registered users8 as of July 2015 and the company said that 70% of them are active every day.

Unified payments interface and messengers

Earlier this month, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) launched9 the Unified Payments Interface. Interestingly, YES Bank had said that it would use10 the architecture of the UPI to enable Chat and Pay option with messenger apps. Ritesh Pai, YES Bank s head of digital banking, said that the bank would develop APIs and SDKs which for chat messengers to implement the UPI and users could send and receive money by selecting a contact on their phone book.

Other developments in BlackBerry

In March, WhatsApp said that it would stop support11 for BlackBerry devices and BB10 operating system.

In February, BlackBerry launched12 the PRIV smartphone in India, BlackBerry s attempt to transition to the Android platform. BlackBerry would launch two more Android devices devices in India priced below the PRIV.

BlackBerry appointed 13Narendra Nayak as the MD of India operations in October 2015. Nayak replaced Sunil Lalvani who quit14 the organisation in June 2015.


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