On the eve of its decade anniversary, Rakuten Viber, owner of Viber, the world’s popular messaging platform announces its expansion into fintech with its Chatbot Payments marking a milestone in the company’s move towards a utility concept.
Ukraine will be the first market for the feature launch and Viber plans to scale it in other markets in 2021. This feature will soon be available for all users in Sri Lanka and the rest of the Asia Pacific region, as roll out plans are scheduled to be announced on a later date. Users will be able to use the platform for buying goods and services and pay with Google Pay or another native mobile wallet.
As messaging and social platforms grow and develop, users are beginning to express a demand for additional features that go beyond emojis, gifs, and video calls. Since early as 2017, 64 % of millennials have expressed interest in P2P transfer solutions in messaging apps. That number has grown since then with the pandemic having accelerated the need for solutions to do just about everything remotely.
With the company developing an end-to-end platform catering to all its users’ needs, it is underscored by impeccable privacy-preserving measures. Recognising this need Viber has announced its expansion into utilities and fintech with a digital payments debut emphasizing preserving user privacy.
Viber’s Chatbot Payments feature will enable users to purchase the products and services of the merchants securely and directly through their authorised chatbots. If the user’s bank support it, the user needs to add a credit or debit card to their 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 simply connect to a payment service provider supporting this type of payments, create a chatbot on Viber, and enable payments on it.
Viber’s chatbot platform is: time-saving as the Chatbot Payments feature enables making the purchase with a few taps directly in Viber. It is all-encompassing with end users can now pay for the services they’ve been already managing via a chatbot (utility bills, deliveries, transportation, etc.). Secure as all confidential payment information is encrypted and not disclosed to chatbots, Viber, or any third party. It is good for business as the Chatbot Payments feature is an easy way for any small, medium, or large enterprises to have a channel on Viber with which to connect to their clients and collect payments and also scalable as quick time to market for any country where mobile wallets are available.
Viber is cooperating with trusted bot developers and payment service providers over the next few months to make this available. In addition to Ukraine, Viber plans to launch the Chatbot Payments feature in other markets early next year.
“We’re thrilled to move Viber beyond messaging and position ourselves on the global stage as an end-to-end platform that actually values its users as people, not ad 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,” said Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Rakuten Viber.
NSB introduces special credit scheme for shrimp farming industry
National Savings Bank (NSB), in collaboration with one of its fully owned subsidiary, Sri Lanka Savings Bank(SLSB), has planned to introduce a special loan scheme to offer credit facilities under a lower interest rate with a view to accelerating the development of shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka.
Shrimp farming industry in Sri Lanka, which came into being around 30 years ago, could be identified as a higher value generating sector among the industries based on aquaculture in the country.
With the objective of achieving a sustainable development in shrimp farming industry in the country, Sri Lanka Aquaculture Development Alliance has been established 15 years back and the permanent members of this organization will be able to obtain loan facilities within a value range of Rs. one Million to Rs. 100 Million under this loan scheme.
This Alliance comprises of 18 farmers’ societies, breeding center societies, seafood societies and shrimp feed societies in Puttlam District, in which the shrimp farming industry is mainly centralized. The Alliance operates the shrimp farming industry, in coordination with the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka, the main state sponsored organization mandated for the task of development of the aquaculture and inland fisheries sector in Sri Lanka and other government institutions. Further, the membership of this alliance represents the entire shrimp farming industry of the country.
Lanka Realty Investments acquires controlling shares of On’ally Holdings
CSE turnover almost Rs 3.5 billion
By Hiran H.Senewiratne
Lanka Realty Investments Plc has acquired 50.8 percent of the issued capital of Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) listed On’ally Holdings Plc for Rs 1.42 billion.
With the transaction Renula Capital and Lanka Reality Investments share prices appreciated significantly yesterday, stock market analysts said.
On’ally Holdings Plc announced that Lanka Realty Investments Plc has acquired 50.8 percent ( 47,244,050 shares) of the issued capital (93,003,087 shares) of the company with the purchase of shares made on 3rd December 2020 at a price of Rs.30.20 per share.
Meanwhile, in a separate filing Renuka Capital Plc announced that it has sold and disposed of 40,754,820 Ordinary Shares (43.821 percent ) held by the Company in On’ally Holdings Plc to Lanka Realty Investments Plc at a value of Rs.30.20 per share on the CSE. Renuka Capital PLC is the second largest shareholder of On’ally Holdings Plc.
The turnover stood at Rs 3.44 billion with two crossings mainly; On’ally Holdings crossing which contributed 42 percent to the turnover and Access Engineering. On’ ally 47.2 million shares crossed for Rs 1.43 billion and its share price was Rs 32.20 and Access Engineering one million shares crossed for Rs 25 million and its share price was Rs 25.
With the transaction Renuka Capital share price appreciated by more than 50 percent or Rs 2.50 . Its share price startered trading at Rs 5 and at the end of the day it moved upto Rs 7.50. Lanka Reality share Price share price moved up by 13 percent or Rs 4.60. It’s share price startered trading at Rs 34.40 and at the end of the day it moved up to Rs 39.
In the retail market top five companies that mainly contributed to the turnover were JKH Rs 141.5 million (945,000 shares traded), Expolanka Rs 135.7 million (5.2 million shares traded), Melstacorp Rs 128 million (three million shares traded), Access Engineering Rs 123.3 million (4.9 million shares traded) and Renuka Capital Plc Rs 121.7 million (18.5 million shares traded).
Amid those developments both indices moved upwards i.e. All Share Price Index up by 17.26 points and S and P SL20 up by 8.81 points up. The share volume that transacted during the day was 22487. According to stockbrokers that market sluggish and the latter part of the day it picked up following the major crossing.
SLT and Mobitel launch Green Premier League 2020
SLT and Mobitel together began an exemplary green initiative project simultaneously with Sri Lankan Premier League (LPL) 2020 called “SLT – Mobitel Green Premier League” (GPL), as a sustainable environmental conservation project. According to the winning score of each team in every match of the LPL, SLT and Mobitel will take necessary actions to plant the equivalent number of plants as forest restoration at Rajawaka forest reserve in Kalthota, Balangoda. Thus, by the end of the LPL tournament, SLT and Mobitel will have taken the necessary actions to plant possibly around 4000 plants in the forest reserve and would have arranged a sustainable maintenance program with the Forest Department in accordance with UN sustainable developments goals. This would be a pioneer project within the context of any cricket premier league in the world!
From the 26th of November 2020 till the 16th of December 2020, SLT and Mobitel will be conducting this remarkable initiative aiming to increase the forest cover in Sri Lanka by planting these trees in 6 hectares in Rajawaka Forest reserve, which has identified as a rich biodiversity site and also the major water catchment area for the Samanalawewa reservoir. With an island-wide reach as the national telecommunications service provider, SLT hopes to inspire sports fans and the youth of the country to undertake their own steps towards environmental conservation and sustainability. SLT will continuously monitor this project in the next two years with the support of the Forest department to ensure the desired outcomes.
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