Viber’s new partnerships in Nepal


Rakuten Viber has revealed new partnerships and business solutions in Nepal by teaming up with Sasto Tickets, Bus Sewa and Chef Nepal to enhance user experience and boost local businesses. Nepali Times spoke with Berina Tanovic, Sales Director at Rakuten Viber and Karla Banua, Sales Lead, Advertising in APAC at Rakuten Viber about Viber’s strategies to position itself as a superapp for brand-user communication. Excerpts from interview: 

Nepali Times: What does it mean for Viber to become a "superapp" and how will it enhance the user experience and benefit brands?

Berina Tanovic: We have seen that end users are more fond of using several apps on their phones. According to the statistics, 77% of the time we are actually using only three of all the apps downloaded. And from that three 50% of the time, we're using only one. So what we realise based on these reports and statistic that people are not keen to use several apps for several purposes, they want to have one app, which is actually super app. So Viber will enable them to do several activities and several daily tasks in one place, meaning that they will be able to use Viber to call a taxi, order food, or do any kind of activity in their daily life. From a brand perspective, it's a huge opportunity because it allows them to contact their target focus customers in their natural environment. So it's a win-win for both parties. 

Every industry in the world can actually use Viber for business solution either to provide better customer support or better customer experience, or just to enhance communication with the target audience. For example with two of our local partners here in Nepal, Sparrow SMS and F1Soft, that actually implemented Viber for business with several brands here in Nepal, and they provide cost effective solutions at the same time, they can offer them let's say better communication platform.

Could you elaborate on the recent launches, such as the searchable Business Account and Business Inbox folder?

Berina Tanovic: In general, we are talking about aligning with a strategy. We launched this business account, which is a unique entity where all the information about the brands and all the communication channels are at one place. Additionally,  business accounts are searchable. We also have business inbox, which is one folder in your chat that combines the whole communication between end user and a brand. This gives better customer experience. From end user perspective, we have realized that the end user wants to have separate private communication from business communication. In other words, if I receive, OTP code from a bank, I don't want to scroll with all the private chat, so I just go to business inbox, and I have all my communication with the brands at the same place.

What are the differences or similarities in how brands use Viber for communication around the world?

Karla Banua: In terms of similarities, I guess on the consumer side, it's really providing more value, how it makes your life easier. And definitely, it's something that you see globally, and in the APAC as well.  Viber is able to support every stage in terms of addressing the needs of the customer from the brands. And in terms of similarities, we're seeing more and more verticals, coming on board into you know, promoting their services. So we've seen like travel, being the top vertical, I guess it's revenge travel, as they say post COVID. So we're seeing that also you have your staples there, you have your retail, you have your banking.

What specific trends have you observed in brand-user communication in the Asia Pacific? 

Karla Banua: We have seen is that Nepal as a market, similar to APAC and the rest of the world. Brands are incorporating more and more mobile strategies whenever they make their media campaigns through media mix. And in terms of the consumer side, we're seeing that the consumers, basically they want it easy, less hassle. So they want everything, all tools all communications in one place. And basically, this is where Viber fits perfectly, because we basically offer a full set of business solutions, from advertising, messaging, messaging chatbots. It is a solution, one tool that helps brands to address every customer need.

Are there examples of sectors that have seen particularly significant benefits?

Karla Banua: For one, we are seeing a good traction in terms of user adoption for Viber. So definitely for brands, it's convenient for them to come into a messaging app that the audience use. Second is data, security and privacy is a priority. And it's a two way process, brands and consumers would like to engage with an app that they can trust, then we have different tools from every funnel, because we understand that you have it's a step by steps for both the consumer and the brand. So that's why we get into the process.

Berina Tanovic: Every business is always looking for a cost effective solution. So compared to any other communication channel Viber is one of the most cost effective, why because it's per delivered pricing model, meaning that all the messages that are not delivered for any reason, maybe someone doesn't have Viber installed, or they are not online, or their mobile phone is switched off, the brand will not be charged for those messages, compared to SMS, where whatever you send is going to be charged. This is one of the key benefits that brands are getting.

How important is user privacy and data security in brand-user communication, and how does Viber address these concerns?

Berina Tanovic: Security is the DNA of Viber. And there are a lot of security measures and protocols that we put in place, in order to make sure that all the data are secured. For example, all the private chats, and all the private calls are secure with end to end encryption. This is the the highest standard of security.

For the business messages, we use encryption in transit, which is the closest that you can get to actually end to end encryption. Also, when onboarding new businesses, we are not doing it automatically. So we have a team who actually check each Sender ID, each business, is it really the business that represent and want to send the messages. Also we have very strict opt-in policies, every time when there is a complaint from a user, because end user can stop the communication anytime, we actually can investigate if someone complains that they didn't opt-in for that specific message, we actually take that seriously and review case internally with our partners to make sure that this never repeats again. Also from technical side, we are not sharing data, we are not storing data, anywhere. And also on top of this we're using HTTPS protocol. We are putting in the effortsto make sure that Viber is actually one of the most secure app, compared to any competitor currently.


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