Viber and Comtrade have developed a revolutionary option to pay your bills through the famous app (PHOTO)
The option is named Addiko Chat Banking and it is one of the first of its kind in the world
Addiko Bank - in cooperation with Comtrade and the message exchange application Viber - presented a revolutionary option in the offer of banking services to Serbia - the possibility of paying bills, checking the balance, transferring funds and direct contact with the bank, without exiting the popular application.
Comtrade Marks World Blood Donor Day (PHOTO)
The option is named Addiko Chat Banking, it was based on Viber Banking Chat Bot - and it is one of the kind in the world.
The Addiko Chat Banking service provides users of this bank with the possibility of paying, transferring funds between their own accounts, checking the balance, overseeing transactions, finding the closest branch and ATMs, and also access to the latest information about Addiko offers.
On the occasion of presenting the new option, we had the opportunity to talk with Momcilo Elenkov, Global Manager of Partner Relations with Viber company.
- Can you tell us more about the Addiko Chat Banking option?
Ever since we opened our ecosystem for new services and customers a year ago, we started to create local solutions with strong local partners. The first task was to find partners who will develop local bots using our APIs, and then find the right customers to use it.
Addiko is the first and big client for whom we have developed a successful product for Viber users, as well as users of Addiko Bank.
Addiko Chat Banking bot is essentially a simplified version of the banking application. Users will be able to access their bank account via Viber to send money to other people, to pay bills, check the balance. The option is very functional and easy to use.
Users will only have to register and verify their account online once, and that's all.
- Is it safe to send money and pay your bills through the options that you have developed with Comtrade and Addiko Bank?
It's very safe. Addiko Chat Banking already exists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro. Security has been adapted to Addiko standards and their internal policies. We also added the security requirements that local authorities require.
We are sure that the new option is completely safe. I would like to mention that we do not store information and data about our users, nor the contents of the messages nor the history of their interaction with Viber. They are only stored on their devices, and when traveling from one phone to another, the messages are encrypted, so we can not even read them. Messages and sending other content via Viber are much safer than conventional SMS messages.
- You have developed Addiko Chat Banking in cooperation with Comtrade. What can you tell us about cooperation with the largest IT company in Southeast Europe?
We wanted to find a strong, local partner who will develop regional bots for Viber. We have the platform, but we do not create bots by ourselves because we simply do not have that many resources.
We are happy to work with Comtrade because it is a big and strong company. They have excellent cooperation with companies in Serbia and the region, as well as around the globe. In all this, we have found a very good and reliable partner. They have learned the Viber API and work very closely with our technology experts. Together we managed to further improve our platform.
- Will you continue to cooperate with Comtrade?
Of course we will and we are already working on several projects which will cover various business verticals.
- Do you plan on expanding the chat banking to other banks in Serbia?
This option is still at an early stage of development. We see great potential in banking and interest of users in this field. The era of digitization is coming and teenagers who are growing up in this new digital world want a different approach to banks and payments. They do not want to go to banks and sign a bunch of documents.
In addition to the banks, this option can also be applied to other spheres we use on a daily basis, such as insurance. Through these services, people will be able to significantly save the time needed for their implementation.
- What can you tell us about the Viber Wallet / Pay option?
Paying via Viber is still in the pilot phase. We are testing it in some countries. Russia has one of the strongest projects of this profile.
We recently bought a ShopChat startup company in America that offers the possibility of a special keyboard with different products (catalogs) that can be selected and shared with friends in chat, but also where you can start the process of purchasing a particular product. The goal is to choose and forward the items you want to buy to friends and other people.
The first results are very good and we are now working on developing a strategy for expanding similar options in other parts of the world.
It's still too early to talk about details. Because of the different types of payments in different countries, we need to adapt this option to a lot of local circumstances.
- Is this option going to be available in Serbia?
If the project turns out to be successful and we decide to launch it in Central and Eastern Europe, it is certain that Serbia will get it, given the large number of Viber users. However, above all, we need to provide a high-quality service.
- In addition to payment options and e-banking, what changes can we expect on Viber in the near future?
Our current strategy is to focus on small changes that can be released quickly, thereby shortening the period of several months between the publishing of new versions.
Small changes are crucial if you want to be innovative. For example, we are continuing to implement the "chat extensions" option behind the icon of the magnifying glass in the chat window, where you can quickly find GIFs, YouTube videos, Spotify songs...
The option has become very popular because it speeds up the use of Viber and users do not have to get out of Viber to find what they want to share with their friends.
Of course, we will focus on payments and e-commerce in the coming period.
- How many people in Serbia use Viber?
Up to 90 percent of the total number of smartphones that are connected to the Internet in Serbia use Viber. Numbers are constantly growing, and annual growth in Serbia is 25 percent. 1.8 billion messages are exchanged daily in Serbia daily via Viber, and users in your country are one of the most active.
Over 800 million people use Viber around the world and we are constantly growing. We are popular in Southeast Asia, Russia, and former Soviet countries, and we are striving for greater numbers in Western Europe.
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