Telegram introduces payment via chatbots

Telegram, the international messenger launched by Pavel Durov in 2013, is now bringing support for payments via chatbots,  nearly two years after introducing them.

“Imagine a world where you can order pizza, pay for a pair of shoes, hire a cab, or refill your subway pass — all in a few button taps on Telegram,” suggests Telegram to promote the new service.

Thus online merchants can now add the new functionality to any Telegram Bot. They may customize the Bot and change the ordering script in order to specify the delivery time, ask for a phone number, offer a discount on a customer’s birthday, or other marketing purposes. The bot developer can choose between all available payment providers, selecting the one already used by the buyer or another one with a lower commission.

As a result, customers can buy goods or services without even having to leave the messaging app. To settle their purchase, need to enter their bank card details in the chat with the Bot and confirm the payment with one touch.

When the functionality was made available two weeks ago, most of the payments were handled by Stripe, but any payment service provider may join the payment service.

In Russia, Yandex.Checkout, the B2B payment service division of Yandex.Money, became the first payment provider to offer this option to e-commerce companies.

“The instant messenger payment model is brand new in Russia, but it has already been successfully applied abroad, for example in China [by] WeChat. Telegram has [thus] evolved from a simple communication platform into an entire ecosystem which can now address users’ payment needs,” notes Dmitry Polozov, Head of Product at Yandex.Checkout.

“Accepting payments in this new way will suit both large businesses and small companies working with their clients mainly through social networks and messengers,” he believes.

Yandex.Checkout is planning to add an option to send payments via Telegram using Yandex.Money e-wallets, online banking and other Yandex.Checkout payment methods.

Yandex.Checkout already provides a chat payment function for online stores with JivoSite. The company claims that, from January to April 2017, the payment volume via chats was 1.5 times larger than during the entire year of 2016. Recently, Yandex.Checkout also introduced money transfers via iMessage and payments via the SendPulse email newsletters.

Telegram also announced agreements with Qiwi and Payme in Russia, with Razorpay in India, and with Flutterwave to cover several African countries. Another agreement with Paymentwall will allow Telegram users from 190 other countries to use the built-in payment service.

Sources: Telegram, Yandex.Money

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