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Rakuten Viber expands into fintech on 10-year anniversary by launching payments in Chat Bots

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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.



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Business

Seylan Bank offers amazing discounts for Avurudu

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With Avurudu just around the corner, Seylan Bank PLC is offering amazing discounts to customers purchasing daily essentials, electronics, clothing, gifts, and more. The bank with a heart will celebrate the New Year with “Ratatama Super, Avurudu Offers with Seylan Cards” and “Seylan Tikiri – Season of Gifts and Laughter”.

The bank with a heart, commenced these exciting offers and promotions to provide the best Avurudu experience to its customers young and old, and to reward them for their continued loyalty to the bank, in the spirit of festivity.

“At Seylan Bank, we want to make your Avurudu an unforgettable experience,” said Gamika De Silva, Assistant General Manager, Marketing and Sales at Seylan Bank. “These two promotions underscore our customer-centric approach which focuses on providing products and services that enhance the overall customer experience and convenience, adding value to your experience with the Bank with a Heart.”

The Bank has partnered with leading supermarket chains on selected promotions; with Keells offering 30% off on fresh meat during the weekends, Cargills providing 20% off on total bills during selected weekends, Glomark offering 20% off on the total bill on every Sunday for a limited time, Laugfs Super providing 20% off on a range of goods on every Monday for a limited time, and Premasiri Supermarket offering 20% off on vegetables & 10% off on fruits on every Wednesday & Thursday during the promotion period.

 

 

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OPPO launches Avurudu song to spread seasonal cheer

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OPPO recently launched an Avurudu jingle ahead of the Sinhalese & Tamil New year. Sung by OPPO brand ambassador & The Voice coach Umaria Sinhawamsa, the song also features popular personalities including actor& singer Gayan Gunawardena and choreographer Ramod Malaka& his dance troupe, Cool Steps.

The visual for the song has been shot in a scenic village atmosphere & features a host of New Year traditions of great cultural significance. The video also features the newly launched fan-favorite OPPO F19 Pro which is on offer during the season. On the first day of sales alone, the F19 Pro recorded a 200% increase in sales compared to its predecessor F17 Pro.

CEO of OPPO Sri Lanka Bob Li said: “This project helped us to immerse into Sri Lankan culture better. In keeping with the spirit of the season, evolving & upgrading, OPPO has launched two concurrent promotions: ERABADU WASI from 2-13 April & OPPO SERVICE WASI from 5 – 18 April.”

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SLIM elects new president and EXCO at 51st AGM

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The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) held its 51st AGM, which saw the induction of its new President Thilanka Abeywardena, who will spearhead the Institute as its 43rd president. This appointment is a milestone in the history of the Institute as Ms. Abeywardena became the first ever female to hold the position of President.

The AGM was held on 7th April, 2021 at Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo. Both a new Council of Management as well as an Executive Committee were appointed during the meeting.

Thilanka currently holds the position of the CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises ten experienced marketing professionals:

SLIM is the apex body for Marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970.

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