Updates continue to roll in from the ongoing Facebook F8 developer conference in San Jose. One major trend coming out of this year's event is a focus on Facebook Messenger, chatbots and payments.
Yesterday, U.S. global money transfer company MoneyGram debuted Sendbot, a platform that allows MoneyGram users in the U.S. to send money transfers to any of the company's 350,000 global locations through Facebook Messenger.
Sendbot allows users to find the nearest MoneyGram location based on where the recipient is, send funds and track transfer progress all within the text-based Messenger environment.
“Innovation is the core to our business and the MoneyGram Sendbot is a true case of a hybrid product created to bridge the digital and physical worlds in order to promote financial inclusion,” said Youri Bebic, MoneyGram’s head of product innovation. “The bot is another example of MoneyGram’s commitment to making money transfers easy for our customers.”
Sendbot is the latest investment MoneyGram has made into its digital offerings, including MobilePass and MoneyGram online along with enabling transfers to bank accounts and mobile wallets. The company's digital money transfer revenue saw 16 percent growth year on year in 2016.
The new chatbot could also be appealing to the two companies currently vying to acquire MoneyGram. Ant Financial and Euronet have locked horns in a burgeoning bidding war.
MoneyGram's bot is the latest in a growing number of payments-related bots on Facebook Messenger as users learn to embrace the interface as a means to send funds.
Messenger users recently acquired the ability to make distributed group payments in-app, for instance, and other payments and financial companies have also made their Messenger chatbot debuts at F8, including other major players like American Express and Mastercard.