Viber in Ukraine wants to become another “more than a messenger” and launch a marketplace. How it will work.

In the recent past, two Ukrainian operators - Kyivstar and lifecell - hoped to capture their share in the niche

mobile messengers with advanced functions.But both burned out. Kyivstar closed Veon without reporting any successes, lifecell is dragging its feet with BiP. From time to time the operator reports on active users (they just reported a million installations), but there is nothing to say about real success and it is impossible to close the project - the Turkish “mother” who developed the messenger has a very successful project.

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Operators, like many other companies,They look at the success of the Chinese WeChat - the Chinese messenger that replaced the users of smartphones from the Middle Kingdom with all the Internet. Here you can order pizza, have a chat with a friend, buy a dress, pay a communal apartment and check how the children behaved at school. In general, you can do everything. Therefore, 1.1 billion people are already here - this is even more than all Internet users in China (there are about 900 million of them).

Since the messenger integrates its ownpayment solution, then for its creator it is a pure cash cow. The messenger’s income was not disclosed, but according to Forbes, its capitalization is $ 500 billion.

Local Veon messenger guide, outputtingproduct to Russian-speaking markets, actively communicated in interviews and native advertising that users will go to the new messenger for a large number of channels, gifts, convenient payments, etc. The experts were immediately skeptical &#8211; Where can an operator in such a highly competitive market find a critical mass of audience, after which the rest will follow? What to take? Even free calls and free megabytes of Internet in roaming did not help lifecell. In general, this is what happened.

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One cannot refuse two companies - they are clearlyWe saw that there is a niche for the more-than-messenger on the market and there are many more services that IT companies can take on. For example, finance. Today, all three operators have already launched their own payment solutions and have gone far beyond telecom. Money can be transferred to other users, in some cities to pay for travel. You can even take a microloan from Kyivstar. Own scoring of the operator allows you to work even with users without a banking history without risk to their finances. But the success of the operators in finance is also not heard.

Money is only the beginning

But in the niche of fintech in Ukraine it is still tryingone company. The other day, Viber launched p2p money transfers between users in Ukraine using the MoneyTou service. The transaction is divided into two parts: sending money and crediting. The recipient receives a notification about the transfer and he accepts it manually and selects which card to credit it to - from those stored in the wallet or manually added for a specific transaction. At the same time, the sender and the recipient only know about the Viber account about each other - no card data, etc. Transaction confirmation is carried out using 3D Secure technology - SMS messages or push notifications from the bank application. The transfer fee is 1% + 5 UAH.

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Ukraine has become the second messenger country to launch a fintech solution. Two weeks earlier it was presented in Hungary. As I said in a comment forgghead of business development of the companyEdenlab (developer of the payment gateway for MoneyTou) Stas Ostrovsky, the Ukrainian brother has two fundamental differences from the Hungarian one. Firstly, it is implemented on the basis of the MasterPass digital wallet from Mastercard. Secondly, the Hungarian wallet does not support parallel transfers, the Ukrainian one does. This means that the user can simultaneously receive money from different persons.

The service is currently only available to cardholdersfor individuals and individual entrepreneurs whose activities allow accepting payments. As Atanas Raikov, senior director for business development at Viber in the CIS, Central-Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, said in a commentary for gg, over the next year the company expects that 5-7% of the Viber base in our country will use the new service , and the number of transactions will be in the millions, or even tens of millions. The forecast is based on data on the use of paid Viber functions - stickers, for example. The company says it sees payments as the heart of its services and wants users to see Viber in the future as a place where they can

Next year they plan to extend it tobusiness, while the nuances of legislation and technology. Viber management believes that with the help of a payment solution it will be possible to make purchases in the messenger, pay bills from different companies, etc. Business will be able to receive payments without leaving the messenger. By the way, today in Ukraine messages from business users already bring Viber 25% of revenue in Ukraine. Stickers are only in third place.

But launching payments for a business is notthe only innovation that will appear in Viber in the near future. The company is already working on a solution for finding content in the messenger. So-so starting screen. Soon it will be officially presented in Ukraine, Russia and other countries of the region.

In the wake of marketplaces

Today is one of the popular scenariosUse Viber - these are chats with the sale of goods. Such a spontaneous marketplace, where people without a reputation and no protection whatsoever from the point of view of the messenger and the state, are selling some things to each other. There is no exact estimate of the number of such chats and their financial success, but Google finds dozens of such communities for a search query. MoneyTou perfectly fits into the concept of such sales, sellers will not need to tell their card numbers to unknown people, they will be able to easily choose where to transfer funds, control which particular user they came from, etc.

Next year Ukraine will also launchmarketplace (in the UK, the "shopping service", by the way, is already available). By the way, in our country there is already an increase in the popularity of this phenomenon. It will not be Viber’s own marketplace, but integration with existing solutions on the market. As I understand it, here, as in MoneyTou, the reputation and resources of partners will play into the hands of the messenger and the new service. Once all this works, you can pay for goods and services from the marketplace directly in the messenger in one click.

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Technically, the service already allows you to sendreminders to the user about transfers. Now imagine if Viber makes it possible to pay utility bills, phone bills, insurance bills, etc. (today, the further, the more companies are switching to a service model of earnings, that is, by subscription). There is no need to remember that day X has arrived; the company itself will be able to remind you about itself in Viber. No need to know the transfer details &#8211; Just press one button.

In the dry residue

WeChat payments skyrocket thanks to hugemass of users and due to its simplicity and accessibility - to pay, it was enough to scan a QR code. Essentially, Viber does the same thing &#8211; simplifies the action for the user as much as possible. What are the company's chances of success? Today Viber is installed on 96% of smartphones; in a month, Ukrainian users send each other 5 billion messages and 700 million stickers through the messenger. According to Raikov, Ukraine is one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of importance for Viber and in terms of income, and is a key market in the region, so new functions appear here earlier than in many other places. According to Mastercard, the popularity of p2p in our country &#8211; at takeoff, 8 out of 10 card transactions are cashless, 41% of transactions are p2p transfers. Ukrainians absorb technology like a sponge. This is why I believe that Viber, unlike others who were haunted by the success of WeChat, has a chance to at least slightly repeat it in our country.

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