Wirecard links to Viber to address the IM payments trend

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German payments processor and technology provider Wirecard is launching new money transfer capabilities for users of the Viber instant messaging application.

In working with Rakuten Viber and its partner NeoPay to deliver the Moneytou service through Mastercard payment rails, Wirecard will process all transactions made with payment cards linked to the P2P system.

It's a collaboration that continues a trend in which popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and now Viber dabble with or establish a payment option within their P2P capabilities.

Libra Internet Bank will operate as the local acquirer when Moneytou launches initially in Hungary and across other Eastern European markets later this year. The companies say they are targeting 25 million users in the first phase of the launch.
“Rakuten Viber messaging is extremely popular, with the service now boasting over one billion registered users worldwide,” Utku Ogrendil, regional managing director of Wirecard, said in a Friday press release.

Because Viber has been popular for users exchanging photos and videos, Wirecard viewed the "next logical step" as the ability to share funds, Ogrendil said. "Whether wanting to split a restaurant bill, collect money for a joint wedding gift or giving a child their pocket money, it can be done by just a few clicks.”

To transfer funds to family or friends, users will simply tap a separate Moneytou icon within the Rakuten Viber messaging app without the need for lengthy bank account numbers or sort codes. Users will be able to send up to 125,000 Hungarian forint ($411 U.S.) a month, and up to 780,000 ($2,567 U.S.) a year.

"By using Wirecard’s card processing expertise and technical support, we will be able to ensure a smooth, hassle-free experience for users wanting to instantly transfer funds to friends and family via Viber," Cristina Constandache, chief revenue officer at Rakuten Viber, said in the release.

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