Rakuten Viber celebrated a decade of service by announcing its expansion into fintech with the launch of its new Chatbot Payments feature on top of its existing messaging functions.
Users of Viber can use the platform for buying goods and services and pay with Google Pay or another native mobile wallet, said a press release on Wednesday.
This move marks a milestone in Viber's expansion beyond messaging, as the company develops an end-to-end platform catering to all its users' needs, underscored by impeccable privacy-preserving measures.
Ukraine will be the first market for the feature launch and Viber plans to scale it in Bangladesh and other markets.
Viber's Chatbot Payments feature will enable users to purchase the products and services of the merchants securely and directly through their authorised chatbots, the PR added. If the user's bank supports it, the user needs to add a credit or debit card to their native smartphone wallet.
The payment option becomes available for any chatbot built on Viber's native chatbot application programming interface (API).
On the merchant side, businesses seeking to accept payments can simply connect to a service provider supporting this type of payments, creating a chatbot on Viber, and enabling payments on it.
"Weare thrilled to move Viber beyond messaging and position ourselves on the global stage as an end-to-end platform that values its users as people, not advertisement targets. Privacy and Security are very important. That's true not only in the transfer of information through messages, but in payments and other aspects of digital communications. We're here to ensure users have access to a secure alternative to handle their payments," Rakuten Viber CEO Djamel Agaoua said.