Opera Limited (NASDAQ: OPRA), one of the world’s major browser providers with 380 million monthly active users globally, including 50 million monthly active users in Europe, today announced the launch of a new European fintech, called Dify. The launch of Dify by Opera will look to disrupt financial services in Europe and bring the company´s expertise and track record in delivering cutting-edge internet browsers into the fintech space. The company´s plan is to first offer an in-browser cashback service for online shopping and to get its large European user base to install and use the Dify Wallet. The service has been specifically designed to bring an intuitive, mobile-first approach to financial services. In addition to the cashback integration, the initial version of the Dify app ships with a current account, a free virtual debit card issued by Mastercard, as well as Google Pay support.
The launch of Dify today follows several corporate acquisitions and investments that Opera had made in the financial industry over the last year. In January 2020, Opera announced its acquisition of the Estonian banking-as-a-service startup, Pocosys, and in July 2020, announced its next step, an investment in and an agreement to acquire Fjord Bank. In September 2020 Opera also joined the Emerging Payments Association EU.
Dify cashback service in the Opera browser
The first version of the Dify app will allow consumers to receive ecommerce cashback for purchases made on partner websites like Asos, eDreams and Nike amongst others and which can be accessed through the Opera browser. Opera users will also get access to a new smart shopping mode in the Opera browsers, providing access to the cashback service and shopping-related tabs while protecting the shoppers’ privacy by disabling third party extensions. In addition, those who choose to pay with the Dify card will receive additional cashback.
Growth of online shopping in Europe
Online shopping is continuing to increase in the European Union (EU). Together with increasing use of the internet and improving security standards, consumers appreciate the possibilities of being able to shop anytime, anywhere, with access to a wide range of products and easy price comparisons. During the current coronavirus pandemic, with high streets in lockdown and consumers under social distancing restrictions, e-commerce will grow further.
E-commerce in Europe last year reached €717 billion with research from J.P. Morgan showing that many countries in Europe will continue to have double-digit growth in 2021.
Krystian Kolondra, EVP Browsers & EEA Fintech, said: “Everyday millions of people shop online and make their payments using the Opera browsers. Opera has a track record of growing audiences and then improving their experiences to make them more engaging. We think this is one of the highest-potential areas: With Dify, we are making the browser and a superior wallet work better, together, to improve users’ shopping experience and also make it financially rewarding”.
A new Dify wallet app
Users will be at first able to use the Dify app to open a current account and get a free virtual Mastercard debit card to shop online or offline using GooglePay. They will also be able to use the app to collect cashback for purchases made using the smart shopping mode within the Opera browser. In the future, Opera’s plans include offering more wallet services like savings management, credit, investment opportunities and instant cashback. The cashback service as well as the Dify app are currently offered in Spain in beta, with more European markets to quickly follow in the future.
Internet companies moving into fintech
Today fintech attracts the largest share of equity investment in Europe, receiving more than €30 billion in venture capital investment since 2014. The trend over the last few years however, has seen Internet technology companies offering a greater number of services to their monthly active users and simplifying the experience and interaction they have with the company. That is the reason why Google has experienced such success with Google Pay and why brands like Amazon have rapidly diversified into financial services, entertainment, and retail. Opera´s creation of a new European fintech is a natural next step in the evolution of the company and follows last month´s creation of Opera Gaming division following the acquisition of YoYo Games.
Whilst today´s launch sees Dify launching initially in beta in Spain, other countries in Europe will follow shortly as Opera looks to capitalize on the 50 million monthly active users the company already has in Europe.
Founded in 1995 in Norway, Opera delivers browsers and AI-driven digital content discovery solutions to more than 380 million MAUs worldwide. The quickly growing company remains one of the most innovative browser creators in the world. Opera is listed on Nasdaq under the OPRA ticker symbol.