Cross-border remittance company Western Union has developed a money transfer bot for Facebook’s Messenger. The offering is, however, only for consumers in the United States but they will be able to able to send money to more than 200 countries in 130 currencies.

Funds transferred can be received into bank accounts or in cash at half a million global retail agent locations. The cross-border money transfer platform will be embedded inside the Messenger bot. It also offers users real-time foreign exchange rates and automated customer support.  Customers who want to transfer money need to search within Messenger for Western Union. More than 60% of Western Union’s digital money transfer transactions globally are initiated via a mobile device, as indicated by this Venture Beat report.

Meanwhile, competitor MoneyGram launched Sendbot, a platform that allows MoneyGram users in the US to transfer money to the company’s 350,00 locations through the Messenger app, Pymnts reports. The bot allows users to find the nearest MoneyGram location based on where the recipient is, send funds and track transfer progress all within the text-based Messenger environment.

Facebook and payments

Note that Facebook Messenger has been stepping up its efforts for payments. Earlier this month, it enabled group payments  where users can send and receive money between chat groups using the app on desktop and Android phones.

In October 206, it was announced that PayPal will be a payment option on the application for customers. This means that people who shop via chatbots on online merchants will be complete the purchase through PayPal.

Readers need to remember that Messenger payments can be only done in the US. However, in India, HDFC Bank tied-up with Niki.ai to launch a chatbot called OnChat on the platform, that will allow users to recharge phones, pay utility bills, book cabs from Ola or Uber etc., through a chat.