The Delhi based startup, HIKE introduced a new way where Android users can make payments, access hike wallet, book train tickets, chat with contacts on hike messenger without being connected to data services.
People who might not have used the internet or may be started using are being targeted under the new service called Total. In accordance with the same company shall be tying up with Intex and Karbonn for launching budget-friendly smartphones between the price range of Rs.3500 to Rs. 5000. These devices will be using a tweaked version of Android which would have Hike as the default calling/Text app and loads features like Hike’s wallet, cricket news, and horoscopes. Also this version of Android would cut down the steps required for registration to just 5. Further discussion is being held with Lava, Micromax, and Samsung.
The best part here is that these smartphones shall not require data services to be turned on while consuming such content. Also, the app can be logged in using a mobile number and you shall also be getting Rs 200 as Hike Wallet credit once the KYC process is completed. Total also implements UPI (Unified Payments Interface) using which payments can be transferred between bank accounts for free. The company is also in talks to add various government service in Total.For carrier partnership Hike shall rely on Bharti Airtel, Aircel, and BSNL for providing low-cost data packs available through Total for starting price of Rs. 1 for 20 MB of 4G data. Reliance Jio as of today uses VOLTE which is not supported by the USSD service which is the main idea behind the app not using data services. The new service Total, uses USSD (unstructured supplementary service data), a technology that transmits information through GSM network channels, which are normally used to make voice calls and send messages. Certain functions like accessing media with pictures or sending pictures across the platform will prompt the user to purchase data packs.
First, four phones having the Total app preloaded shall be available pan India in March. Hike aims to reach people who wish to use the internet but affordability comes in question for such a market segment. The company intends to reach these people before What’s App could even plan to. Hike Messenger, on the other hand, would be working as usual and would need data services to operate normally.
Source: The Next Web