Of course we have heard – ‘Mobile is the future’. But the question is Where? How ? Why?
Line, Whatsapp, We Chat and Kakao Talk are the most prominent apps in the region.
But If you had the power to decide, where would you put your money?
Here is the quick rule of thumb to know which platform to be on. Do note that this analysis is just done on the basis of # of users and market capitalisation metrics (as of today):
1) China, Malaysia: We Chat
2) Japan and Thailand: Line
3) South Korea: Kakao Talk
Now, if you ask me where I where I would put money, I’d say, We Chat.
The reason is simple: When you put money in an ecosystem, people don’t leave. We Chat has been succeeding in creating a powerful ecosystem with virtual wallet integration.
In the region, We Chat gave users the opportunity to give Hong Bao (red envelopes) to their relatives through the app. The campaign was a huge success with over 5 million users giving gift envelopes with different amounts of money to their relatives.
We Chat is also looking at providing capabilities to pay for ‘taxis’ or go ‘dutch’ in restaurants. In spite of We Chat facing increasing scrutiny from banking regulators over their use of virtual wallets and payment apps, I believe that introducing money into the ecosystem will ensure that users don’t switch to other competing apps.
And of course, like all messaging apps, it is inevitable that we will be there because all our friends are there too!
Without a doubt, you don’t want to pay your friend 6 dollars and 45 cents in Cash when all your friends split the cost of the meal on We Chat.