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 seize their share in the niche.

mobile messengers with advanced features. But both burned out. Kyivstar closed Veon, and without reporting on any successes, lifecell pulls the strap with BiP. From time to time, the operator reports on active users (they just reported about a million installations), but there is nothing to say about real success and the project cannot be closed - 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, outputtinga product in Russian-speaking markets, actively communicating in interviews and native advertising that users would go to a new messenger for a large number of channels, gifts, convenient payments, etc. The experts were immediately skeptical - where can the operator in such a highly competitive market take a critical mass of audience, behind which the rest will catch up? What to take? lifecell did not help even free calls and free megabytes of internet in roaming. In general, it 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 told in the comments for gg Business Development Manager, Edenlab(developer of a 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 Mastercard’s digital wallet from Mastercard. Secondly, the Hungarian wallet does not support parallel transfers, Ukrainian - yes. This means that the user can simultaneously receive money from different persons.

The service is currently only available to cardholders.for individuals and FOP, whose activities accept payments. According to Atanas Raikov, senior director of business development for Viber in the CIS, Central-Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, in a comment to gg, over the next year the company expects that 5-7% of Viber’s 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 features - stickers, for example. The company says that they see payments at the heart of their services and want 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 sendingreminder to the user about translations. Now imagine if Viber will be able to pay utility bills, phone bills, insurance bills, etc. (today the farther, the more companies are switching to a service model of earnings, that is, by subscription). No need to remember that day X came, the company itself will be able to remind itself of itself in Viber. No need to know the details of the transfer - just click on one button.

In the dry residue

Payments on WeChat soared thanks to the hugethe mass of users and due to its simplicity and accessibility - it was enough to scan a QR code to pay. In essence, Viber does the same thing - making the user experience as simple as possible. What are the chances of the company to succeed? Today Viber is installed on 96% of smartphones, in a month Ukrainian users send 5 billion messages and 700 million stickers to each other through a messenger. According to Raikov, Ukraine is in the top 10 countries in terms of importance for Viber and in terms of income, and is a key market in the region, so new functions appear in our country sooner than in many places. According to Mastercard, the popularity of p2p in our country is on the rise, 8 out of 10 card transactions are non-cash, 41% of transactions are p2p transfers. Ukrainians absorb technology like a sponge. That is why I believe that Viber, unlike the rest, who were harassed by the success of WeChat, has a chance to repeat it a little in our country.

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