Ubcoin Market and Samsung: a Beautiful Friendship
Ubcoin Market will become an integral part of the mobile payments app Ubank, which is pre-installed on all Samsung smartphones in ten countries. Ubcoin Market is a blockchain ecosystem that allows its users to exchange real goods for cryptocurrency. Ubcoin Market has started its token sale, which is planned to proceed until mid-July 2018.
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Wanbizu — Ubcoin Market和三星：一种良好的合作伙伴关系 (in Chinese) http://www.wanbizu.com/ICO/2018050512682.html
Canardcoincoin — [ICO] Ubcoin Market et Samsung : une belle amitié (in French) https://www.canardcoincoin.com/ico-ubcoin-market-et-samsung-une-belle-amitie/
PortaldoBitcoin — Ubcoin Market e Samsung: Uma Bela Amizade (in Portuguese) https://portaldobitcoin.com/ubcoin-market-e-samsung-uma-bela-amizade/
BitcoinVietnamNews — Ubcoin Market và Samsung: Mối quan hệ hoàn hảo (in Vietnamese) https://bitcoinvietnamnews.com/2018/05/ubcoin-market-va-samsung.html
CoinTurk — Ubcoin Market Samsung İle Birlikte Çalışacak (in Turkish) https://coin-turk.com/ubcoin-market-samsung-ile-birlikte-calisacak
The history of collaboration between Ubank, a universal mobile payments service created in 2009, and the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer started even earlier, in 2007. Back then, a team of software engineers led by Felix Khachatryan released Navifon, an innovative app that became the first to successfully implement a full-fledged automotive navigation system for mobile devices; while Yandex and Google still offered mere 2-D maps to their customers, Navifon used 3-D maps provided by Navteq. Since 2007, Navifon has been pre-installed on more than 1 million Samsung phones equipped with a GPS receiver (these were quite rare at the time). For two months, customers could use the app free of charge, after that they were offered a subscription.
The second stage of the collaboration was the pre-installation of uTalk, a universal mobile app for communicating on all social media platforms and messengers. This app transformed Samsung’s devices from mere phones to smartphones; because of that, the company heavily promoted uTalk during the course of its full-scale advertising campaign. Since 2010, the app has been pre-installed on more than 20 million Samsung devices.
In the early 2010s, the team behind Navifon and uTalk began to focus on fintech, which brought about the creation of Ubank. The app enables its users to transfer money, to pay for goods, services, and to make other financial operations with all of their bank cards in one convenient place. In 2013, Ubank received an $8 million investment from Runa Capital fund and — you guessed it — negotiated the pre-installation of the app on all Samsung smartphones sold in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.
Ubank’s success wasn’t an easy feat. Many banks dreamt about access to the Samsung audience as the company has historically been considered to be a premium brand on the mobile market. However, Ubank has managed to win this competition thanks to two significant advantages. First, the already established partnership and second, the universal aggregation model solution — Ubank doesn’t offer its own banking product, but rather aggregates all the customer’s cards within one interface. So, having chosen Ubank, Samsung has effectively insured itself from certain unwelcome scenarios involving customers of one bank buying a Samsung smartphone and finding a pre-installed app of some other bank.
The Ubank app has proven to be quite popular with 2.5 million active users and the domination of the mobile payments market in the Eastern Europe. The success is not surprising as the solution fits consumer needs. In Russia and the most other countries one person has, on average, 3–4 bank cards. Therefore, an instrument for checking balance on all of one’s cards and for quickly conducting transactions was bound to find a wide audience. Samsung users have also given positive feedback. Surely, there is a certain percentage of customers who don’t like the concept of a pre-installed app. However, most customers realize that if the manufacturer offers an app by default, that means that it has conducted due diligence, which means that the app is a high-quality and reliable one.
“Our partnership with Samsung is a completely unique story,” says Felix Khachatryan, CEO of Ubank. “It is unique in not only that the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer has been steadily collaborating with us for more than 10 years now, but it has also been encouraging all of our experiments: we at Ubank have been always one of the first to implement and support all the state-of-the-art technological solutions like Samsung Pay and to try new products like insuring smartphones online. The main factor signifying that this support is still there is that our app is still being pre-installed on all Samsung smartphones, whereas that kind of opportunity is not given to any other player — even the most prominent ones — of the post-Soviet fintech market. That means a lot”.
The decision to develop a blockchain platform has become a logical manifestation of Ubank’s dedication for further growth and global expansion. For products like Ubank, entering other national markets is impossible within the context of traditional financial institutions. Prior to the launch of Ubank in Russia, the company had negotiated long and hard with each and every service provider, aggregator, acquirer, etc.; doing the same in every country of the world is an unfeasible task. So the only solution was to utilize blockchain technologies, which allows distributing one’s product and effectively bypassing any borders and existing financial institutions.
As a result, the Ubank team had started the development of the blockchain platform called Ubcoin Market. The blockchain platform is modelled similarly to trading platforms like eBay. In early April, the Ubank team launched its token sale. Ubcoin Market bridges the gap between crypto and the real world. For example, those who do not own cryptocurrency will be able to sell goods or services in exchange for cryptocurrency And those who do own cryptocurrency will be able to conveniently spend their ‘virtual’ funds.
Ubank has already planned its global expansion strategy. After the completion of the token sale and the development of Ubcoin Market, the blockchain platform will be integrated into Ubank and, initially, will become available to 2.5 million active app users. Then, Ubank will rapidly enter new national markets by offering foreign customers only the Ubcoin Market functionality. One of the chief factors promising the success of the strategy is the support provided by Samsung, a company that naturally understands the huge potential of decentralized technologies. In the future Ubank will still be pre-installed on all Samsung smartphones with Ubcoin Market as an integral part.
By various accounts, Asian countries mine approximately 70% of all new cryptocurrency volume. Asia is home to the world’s most populous countries, which have experienced a major technological leapfrog in recent history. Asia tech companies are leading the world in blockchain and DApps innovation. Finally, cultural traditions in many Asian countries welcome peer-to-peer exchange of goods and services, which attitudes and habits are also transferable to the online sphere. All of these factors combined create an extremely fertile ground for mass adoption of goods-for-cryptocurrency exchange like Ubcoin Market.
Ubcoin Market will enable many individuals from all around Asia to gain access to cryptocurrency investing bypassing the traditional hurdles of fiat-to-crypto converstion. As far as smartphone manufacturers, who constantly explore ways to make their devices indispensable from the standpoint of delivered value to consumer, they are keen to preload a VAS like Ubcoin to enhance their own value proposition.
In many ways, the ongoing token sale of Ubcoin Marketplace reflects this assessment of the Asia market potential. Investors from South Korea, Indonesia and China dominate Ubcoin’s investor base. This also closely traces the company’s development and expansion roadmap, which sees South Korean market and that of Southeast Asian countries as top priorities for the launch of the goods-to-crypto marketplace in just a few months’ time this year.