VibePay, the social payment app, today announces it is available for download from both the iOS and Android app stores, although access remains exclusive at this time. Following its closed beta launch in September, to which only the dedicated Vibe Community were invited, just over 12,000 people have signed up to a waiting list to gain access to the VibePay app.
VibePay is now looking to gain feedback from those outside its own community in a wider beta rollout. The company is aiming to increase its active user base to 100,000, within the next few months, with users linking their primary bank accounts to their profiles.
VibePay has built its own payment platform in house and from scratch. The Vibe banking gateway, which the company refers to as ‘the engine’ is an aggregated layer, which integrates into existing banking infrastructure, and with one simple API allows the consumer app to deliver a unique experience for consumers, powering social payments.
VibePay, which is completely bank agnostic, makes it easy for friends to request and send payments securely. So far,an astonishing £250,000 has already been requested through the app. Nearly a quarter of people are owed money from their friends, on average £981. However, asking for this money back is often difficult and awkward, social debt is a £14billion problem in the UK. Inputting bank details is fiddly and time-consuming and leaves enormous scope for error - a quarter of Brits having paid money into the wrong bank account, risking hundreds of pounds at a time. This is what the VibePay app is designed to solve.
A key part of VibePay’s success to date is its integration with 14 of the UK’s major banks, including First Direct, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Santander. Today, the company is also announcing Monzo has been added to its list of partners, meaning secure payments between the challenger bank and big name accounts can be made in under ten seconds. By early 2020, VibePay aims to have the remainder of UK banks onboarded.
The social payment app has a host of new features in the pipeline for 2020, including the ability to link more than one bank. With consumers increasingly using challenger banks such as Monzo for day-to-day spending, alongside a main current account, the new feature will enable VibePay users to get paid back into the account they choose.
Other new developments include a social feed feature which will allow users to keep track of conversations around money owed, and complete the transactions – all in one place turning their payments into experiences.
While bolstering its free consumer offering, VibePay will also be rolling out a premium service in 2020 aimed at social sellers. With 40% people running a side hustle in the UK, there is a need for an easier, and cheaper, way for them to accept payments directly to their bank cutting out the middle-man. VibePay’s new premium offering will allow individuals to get paid directly into their bank accounts, within seconds, simply by sharing a link.
VibePay also has plans to introduce a B2B solution in 2020. The Vibe banking gateway, the engine that powers VibePay consumer app will productise and open up its payment and data API’s to third parties - bringing the benefits of open banking to consumers, merchants and marketplaces. VibeTickets, the group’s owned trusted peer to peer marketplace, is set to be one of the first to integrate - creating a seamless ecosystem, adding value to everyday lives.
Commenting on VibePay’s growth, founder and CEO, Luke Massie says: “We harness the power of community to drive change - we started in ticketing and now we are moving into social payments. It’s been a busy first few months for VibePay, since receiving accreditation from the FCA. Our brand is trusted and followed by over 150,000 across social media. We now work with all the UK’s major banks, we’ve demonstrated product market fit in yet another vertical and created real excitement for VibePay’s social payments offering here in the UK, just as Venmo have done in the US and WeChat in Asia.
“With Open Banking, there’s no reason why receiving payment shouldn’t be as quick and easy as sending a text. With VibePay, we’re making this a reality”