Facebook users will have another medium at their disposal to transfer money because the social networking giant will soon start accepting money transfers facilitated by TransferWise on Messenger. The digital payments start-up confirmed that it has created a custom chatbot for Facebook’s chat app, according to Reuters.
Facebook now supports international cash transfers
The new chatbot will enable users to send their cash internationally through Facebook’s chat app. This custom chatbot is capable of wiring money to family and friends and conducting online purchases in North America, Europe, Britain, Canada, the United States and Australia. The new service can be used to set up exchange rate alerts as well.
Facebook had already been supporting domestic transfers of cash in the U.S., but this is the first time a system has been deployed on an international basis completely within the Messenger system. This move comes amid strong and growing competition in the payments sector. Earlier this month, PayPal announced that its U.S. payments app Venmo will soon be available within the popular chat service Slack.
Over the past year, chatbots have become a hot topic in enterprise technology because the latest advances in AI have made them better at interacting. Banks and businesses are hoping that chatbots can be used to improve their customer service and reduce the cost of customer service operations.
Scott Miller, head of global partnerships for TransferWise, said that the chatbot is only available in Facebook Messenger now, but it can be adapted to work with other popular chat services. Miller said the service will ultimately be extended to work in other countries.
TransferWise is a big name in the tech world
TransferWise operates in over 50 countries, and each month, it oversees approximately $1 billion in transactions on its website. In April 2016, the digital payments start-up sensed an opportunity for future growth and arrived on Messenger after the social networking site allowed developers to create chatbots for the platform.
TransferWise enjoys the backing of several high-profile investors, including PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, Silicon Valley venture fund Andreessen Horowitz and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.
TransferWise, one of the most popular tech companies in Europe, was launched by Estonian friends KristoKäärmann and TaavetHinrikus in 2011 out of frustration with the high fees that banks were charging on international money transfers. The digital payments company is valued at more than $1 billion now.