Facebook Messenger is officially accepting payments.
The social media platform announced that its chatbot service is now commerce-enabled. At the TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016 event on Monday (Sept. 12), David Marcus, VP of messaging products at Facebook, explained that users will no longer be sent to an external website because Messenger bots will be able to facilitate payments natively, TechCrunch reported.
If users have credit card payment information already stored in Facebook Messenger, they will have the ability to start making purchases instantly via bots that are part of a closed beta for developers.
Marcus confirmed that 34,000 developers have joined the platform and that 30,000 bots were created. He also noted that Facebook is working with many major payments companies, including Stripe, Braintree, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and PayPal, to support payments in Messenger.
“Inside a thread, you have identity, transaction capabilities, the ability to draw UI and draw native buttons and interfaces,” Marcus explained when discussing the launch of Messenger’s platform v1.2. “We’re bring all these types of experiences together.”
Last month, digital money transfer firm Azimo announced it is integrated into Facebook Messenger. That means users can send and receive money through their friends list on Facebook.
“With 1 billion people now using Facebook Messenger, we saw an opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier and change money transfer forever. From today, making an Azimo transfer will be as simple as sending a Facebook message,” Azimo said on its blog.
“Using Azimo with Facebook Messenger, you’ll be able to send money at brilliant rates to over 190 countries. Best of all, you won’t need your friend’s IBAN number or contact details. You won’t even need to know how they want to receive the cash, whether it’s to their bank account or one of our 290,000 pickup locations.”
The new service works like this: Open the Azimo app in Google Play or the Apple App Store and select to request someone’s details through Messenger. You will then be prompted to choose one of your Facebook friends. That friend will get a message, and all they will have to do is tap a button, fill out the details, hit reply, and when the reply arrives in your inbox, tap it and let the transferring begin.