Business news from Ukraine

UKRAINIAN KYIVSTAR LAUNCHES JOINT PROJECT WITH VIBER

The Kyivstar mobile communications operator has allowed paying for a subscription to sticker packs in Viber (part of Rakuten Inc.) via own Smart-Money financial service for prepaid subscribers, the companies have said in a joint press release.
“This is the first experience of the collaboration of the messenger and the mobile payment service, which was implemented in Ukraine,” the press service of the mobile operator said.
Users of the Smart Money service will be able to subscribe to all stickers in Viber for UAH 20 per month and access immediately to all collections of stickers, which has more than 500 pictures.
Usually, Viber users pay for each sticker pack separately, but one time at a price of UAH 52-54 per one sticker pack.
The service can be used by Kyivstar prepaid subscribers who have installed the Smart Money application, since payments are made from a mobile account.
“Launching a joint project with Viber is an important step for us. We are confident that such a partnership will help develop a culture of payments with mobile money and thus help citizens of Ukraine to strive for a cashless economy,” Senior Business Development Manager at Kyivstar Olena Suvorova said.
According to Rakuten Viber, Ukrainians make about 4 million calls to Viber every day and send 11 million messages.
“For Viber, this is the first experience of such cooperation in Ukraine,” Senior Director for Business Development in Europe, Africa and Middle East Atanas Raykov said.
Kyivstar also said that today, since the launch of the service in September 2018, 6.4 million transactions has been carried out, and the most popular services were: payment for telecommunication services, national lotteries, online purchases and payment for public transport.

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PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE DISCUSSES WITH OWNER OF VIBER OPENING COMPANY’S OFFICE IN KYIV

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and founder of the Japanese Internet company Rakuten Hiroshi Mikitani have discussed plans to enhance the company’s presence in Ukraine, in particular the expansion of the office in Odesa and the opening of a new office in Kyiv. Zelensky and Mikitani met on June 25, the presidential website said.
In Ukraine, Rakuten is best known as the owner of the Viber service.
Hiroshi Mikitani says Ukraine is a priority market for Rakuten. He expressed his willingness to support the idea of increasing the number of investment projects from Japan.
He also approvingly responded to Zelensky’s initiative “The State in a Smartphone” and expressed a desire to cooperate closely under this project, since Viber is an integral part of the smartphone of most Ukrainians.
Following the meeting, Zelensky invited Mikitani to join the National Investment Council whose secretary is IT entrepreneur David Arakhamia.

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