Chatbots And Commerce

Western Union Brings Money Transfer Bot To Philippines

On Wednesday (Oct. 25), Western Union launched a new chatbot for the Facebook Messenger application, according to news from Mobile Payments Today. The “Request Money” bot will enable money transfer requests directly through the Messenger app.

The bot, currently only available in the Philippines, allows users to request money from associates working or living abroad in the U.S.

“This collaboration underscores our commitment to financial inclusion by connecting the world’s developed and emerging nations in innovative ways,” said Odilon Almeida, president of Global Money Transfer at Western Union. “We are constantly looking for opportunities to ensure we are making our services accessible and convenient, at both ends of a global money transfer.”

Users can request money in specific amounts and stipulate a means of payout, and the funds can be received by all major Filipino bank accounts, Mobile Payments Today stated. Users can also receive money in the form of cash at Western Union banking locations.

Requests through the chatbot will notify users in the U.S. through Facebook’s Messenger application, said Mobile Payments Today. The sender can then click the message and complete the Western Union money transfer directly through the mobile app.

This collaboration comes as Facebook is implementing a suite of new features into its standalone Messenger application. The social media site’s messaging platform allowed users to shop through the app using Paypal as early as last year, but the companies announced last Friday that peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers and other requests would also become available.

“We’re excited today to announce an expansion of our relationship with Facebook with the addition of PayPal as a funding source for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, right in Messenger,” said Bill Ready, COO of PayPal.

The introduction of a Paypal customer service chatbot accompanied that news.

Also in October, ATB Financial and partnered to bring a virtual banking assistant to the Messenger app. The artificial intelligence-enabled (AI) banking assistant will allow nearly 700,000 customers to access banking features within Messenger, said the companies.

“AI is completely reinventing the consumer banking experience,” said Jake Tyler, co-founder and CEO of



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.