Who’s getting the bill?

When a group eats in a restaurant, goes to the theatre or takes a taxi often gives rise to questions of who is paying for what and whether everyone has enough cash. The start-up Viamo has an answer, offering the possibility to send small amounts of money from mobile phone to mobile phone.

When a group eats in a restaurant, goes to the theatre or takes a taxi often gives rise to questions of who is paying for what and whether everyone has enough cash. The start-up Viamo has an answer, offering the possibility to send small amounts of money from mobile phone to mobile phone.

Viamo CEO Adam Marek got the idea to create such a service when playing poker with friends and having problems settling after games.

“Then I got the idea that it would be great to have something I could use to settle without breaking a €20 bill,” Marek said, as quoted by the Pravda daily, “and my friend would immediately know that money was on the way.”

Viamo is a mobile application providing people with the means to send money from one mobile phone to another without using online banking services. All customers need to know is the phone number of the recipient and they are able to send up to €200 per day. Viamo users are also able to pay small sums for services, like a taxi or a coffee in a restaurant.

Viamo became part of VÚB, Tatra Banka and ZUNO banking services. Anyone receiving money can have an account at any Slovak bank and does not have to be registered with the service or even have a smartphone. In mid-2014, around 60,000 customers sent more than €500,000 per month, while the average sum sent being €20, Pamela Babuščáková of Tatra Banka told Mojandroid.sk. Developers have been focusing on cooperation with banks and gathering feedback from end users since the beginning of the project, according to Marek. He added that the most important thing in doing business with start-ups is to have contact with customers as quickly as possible.

“Since the beginning we have been working with end users, gathering comments from them and receiving a lot of positive feedback,” Marek told The Slovak Spectator. “The most important arguments for banks were that end users were interested and that there was faith in [the idea] that transfers between people could be simpler.”

Viamo is not about one magical idea, but rather the result of the experience the founders gained when co-operating with VÚB bank. They were continuously approaching banks during the development of the application to persuade them to adopt the service. It was the most difficult task for developers and similarly the current biggest task is to persuade other banks in Slovakia to join, according to Marek.

“There should be one’s own belief and idea about long-term development but it is almost for sure that first contact with the customer will be surprising,” Marek said. “They will realise that they had inaccurate idea or things are different. Therefore people should get in front of the customer as soon as possible.”

For more information about the Slovak business environment please see our Investment Advisory Guide.

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