payments flickr

Businesses on Facebook’s Messenger can now accept payments without sending users to an external website, the company announced today. Note that this is live only in the United States and is expected to roll out the capability more broadly by the end of the year.

Right now, the feature is in beta available to only some developers. Businesses can apply through the Messenger developer page. Users can use their payment information stored on Messenger and Facebook to check out faster on the chat application.

Facebook had announced money transfers and payments over Messenger in March last year and had partnered with Stripe and PayPal for the same. However, TechCrunch points out that Facebook has also partnered with card networks Visa, MasterCard and American Express for payments. 

The report added that Facebook now has over 30,000 bots from around 34,000 developers.

Apart from this, Facebook also mentioned that it  would enabling seamless sharing of bots and messages from bots to friends on Messenger. People can share any message with friends using the standard Messenger share button next to the message.

Regulatory environment in India

In India there are many chatbots which can process bill payments and recharges. FreeCharge had a clever workaround to enable payments on WhatsApp. Bill splitting app Mypoolin has a chatbot where users need to enter a person’s bank account number to transfer money. 

Facebook will face a very tough regulatory environment with the Reserve Bank of India which insists on two-factor authentication for card not present transactions. However, Facebook will face a very tough regulatory environment with the Reserve Bank of India which insists on two-factor authentication for card not present transactions.

There is the unified payments interface (UPI) which went live this month with 21 banks. YES Bank, for example, has said that it would be creating an ecosystem of apps with its UPI backing it. The bank had also said that it would be working on chat based payments. And Facebook might want to consider the UPI to enable payments over its chat bots.

Image credit: Flickr user Jason Saul under under CC BY 2.0