Facebook will soon allow chatbots on its Messenger service to accept payments. Messenger bots will be able to use credit card information users saved in Facebook or Messenger without having to open a webpage to complete purchases. Developers can now apply for a closed beta test program if they wish to add this feature, which Facebook says will become more broadly available by the end of the year. To ensure a smooth checkout experience that supports most payment options, Facebook is reportedly working with all the major players in digital payments including Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
What Brands Need To Do
This new feature marks an important step for Facebook to fully realize the ecommerce potential of chatbots. It creates a frictionless purchase experience within chat that signals huge opportunities for social commerce, as WeChat’s success in China has shown. Therefore, brands that are consider developing Messenger bots need to take this new capability into account.
For more information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational platforms, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016 and our latest Fast Forward analysis on chatbots. If you wish to develop a branded chatbot to connect with consumers on messaging apps, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab.