Messenger application Telegram will now allow payments through its bots. The company said that bot developers can accept payments from their users around the world. Users will need to have Telegram version 4.0 (or newer) installed to pay for goods and services. (Hat tip: Sneha Johari)

To begin with, most of the payments are being handled by US-based payments company Stripe. “In the next few days, payments will become available to developers in India via Razorpay, in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Uganda via Flutterwave, and in over 190 other countries via Paymentwall,” Telegram said on its blog. Payments in Russia will be handled by Yandex, Money and Qiwi while transactions in Uzbekistan will be handled by PayMe. The company also added that it will support payments from Apple pay but no word on Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

How it works 

– A bot will show a service or a product along with a “Pay” option embedded in their messages.
– Users can tap the “Pay” button where they will be prompted to enter their card details through their chosen payment system.
– The user will then have to enter their shipping details and this is passed on to the bot developer who processes the order.

Telegram added that it does not process the payments, or store card information and data. It said that it does not take any commission from the payments and that they do not profit from these transactions. The company added that it will not handle complaints and cash backs, and said that any disputed payments are the responsibility of bot developers, payment providers, and banks which participated in the transaction.

Facebook messenger payments

Telegram will be competing with Facebook which allows people to pay through their messaging applications. Earlier this year, Western Union and MoneyGram developed bots for Facebook’s Messenger. Facebook Messenger has been stepping up its efforts for payments. In February, it enabled group payments where users can send and receive money between chat groups using the app on desktop and Android phones. In October 2016, 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 able to complete the purchase through PayPal.