Expanding upon its in-app commerce efforts, Instagram has quietly introduced a native payments feature. With the new functionality, users can register a credit or debit card and make payments within the social media platform after setting up a security PIN, TechCrunch reported.
A spokesperson for Instagram told TechCrunch that users can now make payments to a limited number of businesses, such as restaurants and salons. Users can make in-app payments through the Instagram pages of some of Resy’s clients, for example. In the future, Instagram said it would allow users to pay for items such as movie tickets.
Instagram had mentioned in 2017 that it would “roll out the ability to book a service with a business directly from their profile later this year.” However, the company had not mentioned native payments.
The news comes as Instagram expands its Shopping on Instagram feature for business accounts to eight more countries: Canada, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Australia, TechCrunch reported. The feature is useful because Instagram does not allow users to put links in photo captions. Prior to introducing the feature in the U.S., multiple third-party services, such as Like2Buy and LIKEtoKNOWit, launched to make posts shoppable.
If a consumer taps a post that uses Shopping for Instagram, a pop-up reveals product pricing and a link to a page within the app for more information. In addition, a “Shop Now” button takes users to an eCommerce store. Instagram hopes to expand the feature to allow its business users to show the shoppable photos to users other than their own followers.