Luke Massie talks about Open Banking, how VibePay is doing and what’s coming next for VibePay's payment and data ecosystem.
VibePay is building a new payment and data ecosystem directly on Open Banking, which offers an alternative to the traditional card and wallet rails. Cards and wallets are expensive, inefficient and add very little value.
Over the next few years, we believe businesses and consumers will leave card rails in favour of account-to-account payments. As a result, we see that the next big opportunity in payments lies in building a platform that redistributes value through its network back to consumers and businesses.
With technical barriers lowering and regulatory changes enabling innovation, we see payments fast becoming a commodity. Although a necessity, moving money from one account to another is no longer that difficult.
"VibePay is focused on bringing transactions to life and creating new ways for brands and users to engage. VibePay aims to connect those who are paying with those they are transacting with in meaningful ways."
Consumers want payments to be a slick experience, businesses want them to be as cheap and reliable as possible. Both are now proactively looking to benefit from additional value from every aspect of their transactional experience.
A new era:
For the past 18 months our focus has been on designing a system and building the technical foundations on which to build the VibePay ecosystem and since our last update the team has reached important milestones.
Two products in market
VibePay app: users can now initiate payments (PISP), request payments using their VibeMe links or QR codes and also see all their bank account information - balances and transactions - in one place (AISP). This also gives VibePay visibility on how users transact - both inside the VibePay ecosystem and, uniquely, outside.
New business platform: launched in beta. The latest update introduced standing order payment functionality and the ability for businesses to be paid via QR codes, or payment links in invoices.
Hardened tech stack
We've improved and extended middleware, which is a Node.js application split into multiple components (services). The VibePay app and Business platform plug into our middleware.
Established two routes to market
Market direct-to-consumer (DTC): our app focuses on serving the growing creator economy, for example, streamers and social sellers. These users have a daily need to get paid, want to avoid waiting for funds, and need to transact in apps where they spend most of their time (messaging and social).
Serve businesses selling to our app users (B2B): our customers use social media to advertise and their biggest challenge is sales at a low unit cost. We will put our business platform in the hands of DTC brands and micro businesses through integrations with WIX (due in April), Shopify (live soon), Mangento, and others.
Starting to see network effects
Users of our app and business customers have a need to get paid. This organically drives new transacting users to the VibePay ecosystem. The more users engage, the more transactional data we have, the more value can be added. The more people a user can pay and the more places they can use VibePay to pay and get paid, the more valuable the service becomes for everyone.
What's coming next
We’re bringing transactions to life and unlocking value-adding insights from payments.
App: Transactions power our financial and personal lives. We’re bringing them to life by introducing connections that will enable users to engage with them in new and innovative ways.
This includes transactions that occur inside and, uniquely, outside VibePay (by leveraging AISP), adding value for our users and brands who will see the products and services they love becoming discoverable.
Business Platform: ‘Checkout with VibePay’ is launching imminently, offering businesses an effective alternative to traditional card and wallet rails. We’ve built a hassle-free integration with Wix (additional ecommerce platforms announced shortly!) to get businesses started effortlessly.
We’re then adding additional value for users who pay with VibePay accounts, with their transactions seamlessly displaying in the VibePay app and becoming actionable.
Challenges & Learnings
This year we have seen 140%+ MoM growth in the number of new accounts created and users linking their bank account(s). This can mostly be attributed to our integrations with Streamlabs and StreamElements that has enabled users to receive donations.
Through these integration we’ve been able to demonstrate clear product market fit: for more on this bold Go To Market strategy, read this blog post.
Its not been easy and there are ongoing challenges:
- Overall adoption of Open Banking has been slower than anticipated, with lack of coverage outside the UK.
- A2A Payment reliability at infrastructure layer remains a challenge (industry standard 83%)
- There remain feature gaps and journeys that are not supported, such as refunds (although VibePay has designed its own solution).
We’re looking forward to the next stage in our journey, empowering more people and businesses through our payment and data ecosystem.