Chatbots And Commerce

TransferWise Opens Facebook Up For International Money Transfers

TransferWise has brought a new service to market that will allow its customers to use Facebook to send money around the world via its chat application.

The London-based payments company announced that it has developed a chatbot that can help users both communicate with businesses and complete transactions with them.

TransferWise’s chatbot is able to send money to and from United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and Europe from Facebook Messenger. It can also be used to set up exchange rate alerts.

Domestic money transfers are already possible on Facebook via Messenger — but TransferWise claims that its service will be the first to enable money transfers globally.

TransferWise is one of Europe’s better-known fintech and payment firms and has been on the scene since 2011. Founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann founded the firm after dealing with a series of expensive hassles trying to send money to their native country, Estonia.  These days, TransferWise is valued at around $1 billion, with backing from some very big names in tech and investing from such well-known sources as Andreessen Horowitz, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, and PayPal co-founders Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, through his fund Valar Ventures.

Customers in more than 50 countries send roughly $1 billion through its website every month.

The TranferWise chatbot is getting its start on Facebook — but it can reportedly be adapted to work in a variety of popular chat applications.


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