July 19, 2021

Viber’s next major move in the Philippines

Rakuten Viber, a popular instant messaging service in the Philippines, is in discussions with local financial technology companies to extend its position in the growing digital money market and reach approximately 40 million users in the nation next year.

Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua said the move was part of a strategy to bring out a slew of fintech services, including user-to-user money transfers, worldwide over time, beginning in Eastern Europe in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“We aim to extend such services to the Philippines in January 2022,” Agaoua said in an interview with the Inquirer last week.

He claimed Viber, which is funded by Japanese e-commerce behemoth Rakuten, was in talks with local fintech firms, but he didn’t name them.

Viber has previously teamed up with Globe Telecom and its mobile wallet GCash to accept QR code payments on its FoodPH food directory.

‘Meta app strategy’ is a term used to describe an approach that involves using

Existing collaborations, however, “do not cover 100 percent of what we want to accomplish today,” according to Agaoua.

“We’re talking about expanding those relationships. “We’re also talking to new partners,” he added.

The move is part of Viber’s larger “meta app strategy,” which includes major pillars like as content development, commercial services, and finance.

Agaoua said that their fintech expansion will allow users to “send money to one other or pay for a service or product straight through Viber to a shop or business.”

He went on to say that these capabilities will be incorporated into Viber, while the functions of digital money transactions would be handled by a local partner.

Demand is increasing.

It also comes at a critical time, as a growing number of Filipinos have resorted to fintech services as a result of limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a trend that is likely to continue long after the global health crisis has passed.

Mobile wallets like GCash and PayMaya have grown in popularity, and they expect to process billions of pesos in transactions this year alone.

Viber’s worldwide growth strategy, according to Agaoua, would be pursued via partnerships.

He said, “We always strive to utilize the position local partners have and [we] offer what they don’t have and together create a solution where everyone gains something.”

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