APAC consumers the keenest for cash transfer by messaging apps

Mark Zuckerberg paid $US19 billion for WhatsApp because he wants — in his own words — to own the dial tone of the Internet. By that he means services so central to everyday digital life — like social networking and chat — they will come as standard and free services when consumers first power up their mobile phones.

While many were critical of the price he paid, The Zuck understood something fundamental about the Internet that his critics missed: give a billion people a piece of technology to play with, and they will discover a way to make it really hum.

Messaging services, for instance, look like morphing into something much more interesting that a channel for amusing autocorrect errors. Instead, they are becoming a conduit for commerce — or at least the cash that drives the commerce.

As GlobalWebIndex revealed today, Telegram, BBM and WeChat users are the most interested in using in-app money transfer features of their messaging apps. More than 80 per cent of the users of those services in the US and the UK say they are very or quite interested in such functionality.

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According to GWI, “It’s hardly surprising that apps with their origins in APAC score particularly well: on some of these services, the ability to transfer money has been around for a long time. And while it’s certainly striking that Kik, Snapchat and Facebook Messenger come at the bottom of the table, it’s still around half of their respective user bases who express an interest in a money-transfer service — indicating the size of the potential audience for Snapcash as well as Facebook Messenger’s rival feature.

Of course, it is also the case that users in developed markets have had access to many more options for moving money for a lot longer than those in the developing markets.

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