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New Rakuten Viber Chief Executive Officer CEO Ofir Eyal is bringing the popular communication app into the fintech category by rolling out an in-app payment service called Viber Pay. The move will be a significant step forward for Viber as it seeks to attain a super app status.
The digital payment service integration will offer Viber users more than the core message and call features. Viber is still used for performing audio/video calls and exchanging messages on the popular instant messaging app but soon, it would bring a major addition of digital payment for millions of users worldwide in phases.
The in-app payment service will let Viber users create a digital wallet within the platform. Users would be able to link the payment wallets to bank accounts and Visa and Mastercard. With the online payment feature, users can transfer money to others, buy products online, and pay bills.
Viber plans to first introduce peer-to-peer transfers. This will be available to all users for free. The service will go live in Germany and Greece later this summer. At the start, Viber will gather user feedback necessary to improve the product before launching in other markets.
“In my role as CEO, I am honored to lead and be part of a highly-driven team in Rakuten Viber as we pursue the company’s vision and mission in the face of impending challenges. In addition, we would like to keep Viber’s high standards and innovative spirit when it comes to operating and enhancing the app to improve the user experience and ultimately, become a super app. I will always appreciate and be grateful to employees who are part of the journey to make Viber become what it is today.” Mr. Eyal said.
“I clearly define my role and mission in serving both the organization and our users. This journey can be challenging but Viber and I are more committed than ever to deliver on our technology promise.”Ofir Eyal, CEO of Viber
Viber’s new CEO Mr. Eyal stepped into the role in August last year and has been making significant contributions to “growing and bringing Viber closer to users throughout the journey of his more than 7-year tenure with the company.” During this time, his responsibilities as Rakuten Viber’s Vice President of Product before being promoted to Chief Operating Officer, include focusing on user experience, customer success, content, and localization.
Recently, Viber’s recent advancements have enabled features to maximize user experience in both business and entertainment. Additionally, the improvements have encouraged users to communicate with each other. Now, as the CEO of Viber, Mr. Eyal carries the responsibility to implement the company’s ambitious product development and market expansion efforts.
He also looks for new business opportunities as the company continues to distinguish itself as a global industry leader.
Asia Pacific (APAC) is currently one of Viber’s strongest regions for growth where it grows over 20% annually and continues to innovate partnerships and projects unique to the region. Viber continues to invest more in the region and remains eager to rapidly grow its user base by “producing more country-specific partnerships, localizing strategies and offerings, and providing more benefits to Viber users.”
In Nepal, Viber has been one of the most relied upon and trusted communication platforms. The company has seen 38% growth in group chats, 26% in messages in the group sent, and 39% in community viewers. The app has drawn the loyalty and trust of individual users, big and small businesses, and educational institutions. This was noticeable during the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the pandemic, businesses suffered heavily. Big and small businesses witnessed a 20 – 50% decline in their overall earnings. But Viber stepped in to revive them from this downturn and provided them with an opportunity by helping them go digital through the power of one-to-many (via communities and channels), and one-to-one conversational commerce (via private messaging after conversing in the community or channel).
In Nepal, Viber once had a partnership with local digital wallet eSewa which allowed Nepali users to transfer money or recharge the balance. However, under the leadership of the current CEO, Mr. Eyal, Viber is adding its own dedicated payment system aka Viber Pay within the native app.
That is not all. Viber played a leading role by assisting schools and institutions in reinforcing education and learning. The app introduced many channels on different streams. Viber has recently conducted a webinar in association with many schools where the participants received in-depth instructions about Viber’s assistive features in educational and learning activities.
With a clear direction set ahead for Viber, Mr. Eyal’s leadership is expected to sustain Viber’s continued growth in product and service development as well as expansion to new markets. Viber also wants to lead as a major and innovative player in the global messaging app landscape.
Would you be eager to try the in-app payment feature on Viber? What is your opinion of this feature arriving to the popular VoIP and instant messaging app? Do share with us in the comments below.
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