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Truecaller 8 Brings UPI Payments And A Feature Phone Version To India

The caller-identification app has a 150 million users in India.

28/03/2017 1:09 PM IST | Updated 28/03/2017 1:33 PM IST
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Truecaller, the app that finds contact details globally when given a phone number, is one of the most used apps in India. The company claims that it is the third most popular third-party app in the country, with 150 million active users. Today, Truecaller introduced many new features in the app to engage more with users worldwide.

First and foremost, the company wants to replace your SMS app with the Truecaller app. With the revamped design, it has integrated messaging facility in the current app. Truecaller has introduced spam filtering as well to filter out unwanted promotional messages.

Additionally, the updated app will have the ability to send a quick reply, share a location or let your friends know your status.

"India is an important market and one of the biggest userbase for the company," Alan Mamedi, CEO and Co-founder, Truecaller told HuffPost India. "That's why we have three offices here including the development centre in Bengaluru where a lot of engineering and innovation work goes on."

The other big announcement was the introduction of the app to feature phones. This year, potentially, 60 million 4G feature phones will be sold in India. Seeing a big opportunity, the company has announced a partnership with Airtel to identify callers on these phones.

Speaking with HuffPost India, co-founder and CSO Nami Zarringhalam, said that the user experience on the feature phone will be no different from a smartphone. Users will be able to see the caller's identity on the screen when they receive a call. Zarringhalam said that almost 15 billion spam calls were identified by the app in India last year alone.

Truecaller has also introduced a UPI-based (Unified Payment Interface) payment system, with the back end managed by ICICI Bank. Users who don't have a Virtual Payment Address set up, can do so in the app. The 2-factor authentication and security platform is handled by ICICI. Yet, with so many plug-ins in the Truecaller app, the implementation is yet to be tested in real time.

"We are delighted to offer our UPI platform to Truecaller which is one of India's most widely used mobile application. With this new service, users will get the benefit of making quick and easy payments to any mobile number registered with the BHIM app, thereby enabling them to reach out to a wider section of people," Abonty Banerjee, Senior General Manager & Head – Digital Channels at ICICI Bank said in a statement.

To enable video calling, Truecaller is integrating with Google Duo. Users can make calls directly from the Truecaller app and the call history will show up in the log as well. Users can opt out of this service.

Despite its success, Truecaller has been often criticized for collecting data from users. And, while there is an opt-out option for users, even those who are not on the platform have to request for their personal data to be removed. How to manage privacy issues to the satisfaction of their users as well as those who do not have the Truecaller app installed on their phones, could be a challenge for the company.

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