This week, Facebook held a developers’ conference in which it launched various services to boost the functionality of its current crop of services. Among them were Messenger 2.0 and AR Spaces. It was a great show with some revolutionary partnerships coming alive.
One of the main launches was on the part of financial services support for Facebook Messenger. Both MoneyGram and Western Union joined hands with TransferWise of London to launch Facebook Messenger bots that will enable money transfer over the chatting service.
Other firms that have expressed interest and even went ahead to launch their own cash payment systems include Wells Fargo, AMEX and American Express. This is a major step for Facebook Messenger which is one of the most used communication services at the moment.
Also joining this payment spree on Messenger is MasterCard which has confirmed that its Masterpass payment service will be integrated into various Facebook Messenger bots to allow for easy payment through the Messenger service. This will mean that even banks such as Capital One and Citi will join the fray as they allow payments through the Masterpass service.
According to Mastercard VP Linda Kirkpatrick, “Mastercard is working with partners, including financial institutions and merchants, and the first few that we have worked with are Subway, FreshDirect, and Cheesecake Factory,” and that “Additionally, Mastercard and Turkish mobile retailer Getir developed a Masterpass-enabled bot that allows consumers to shop and pay for their items with delivery guaranteed in 10 minutes. We will be announcing more partners as and when they are ready to launch.”
The use of bots has been the focus of most payments system firms such as MasterCard owing to their capabilities. According to Kirkpatrick, “Bots are the first phase of conversational interfaces, which many predict will — like the mobile touchscreen — fundamentally alter the way consumers interact with businesses and brands. Mastercard continues to work with partners and merchants to improve the consumer experience by providing them the freedom to shop when, where, and how they want in the simplest and secure way possible.”