Once you had to leave your house to make a purchase. You don’t have to go out to buy something anymore. And since it is possible to make payments in chatbots – a user doesn’t even have to leave a messaging app.
How can you enable payments in chatbot?
1. A time-honored way
Payments with Middleware.
To integrate this payment method in the chatbot, developers use APIs of a payment system (PayPal, Stripe, EasyPay) or a bank. Chatbot sends a request to the API endpoints and it returns a “link” to Middleware – kind of interlayer, that enables payments. A customer is redirected to the middleware of a payment system. So, the payment is carried out not directly in the messaging app but in the “interlayer”.
For the user, it is displayed as a form, in which he or she enters payment details.
To redirect the user to the middleware, developers can use buttons (the user taps “Buy” or “Pay” button and goes to middleware payment page). Then, a link to the payment in the middleware-interlayer appears or a webview with middleware-interlayer content is exposed.
Middleware returns the chatbot payment results. Bot analyses the response and informs the user that the payment was successful or that certain mistake happened and the process should be repeated.
Multi-factor authentication is provided by Middleware.
Middleware payments can be enabled in any messaging app.
2. Innovative Way
Payments with platform API.
At the moment, this way is available only for Facebook Messenger and Telegram.
In Facebook Messenger, this feature is currently in Beta.
Payment Webhook enables chatbot to accept payments in Messenger.
The developers create Generic Template with a product or service, containing the price and the Buy Button.
When the user taps Buy Button, a dialog appears displaying the item, a price list, and payment method. Also, additional information, like name, phone number, and shipping address can be requested.
After the customer taps the Pay button in the dialog, the chatbot owner receives tokenized credentials and can charge the person for the item. The purchase should be confirmed with a message (e.g., with the Receipt Template).
After the Pay Button is tapped, Payment Webhook sends to the bot’s owner a callback (the owner has to subscribe to the callback first, when setting up the webhook). The callback contains the payment credentials and requested user information.
Currently, this feature is available only in the U.S.A.
The payment in Telegram chatbot is processed in a similar way.
The developers add “Pay” Button to the message. After the user taps the button, he or she is asked to fill out the payment details, shipping information and a request for payment confirmation.
If the user’s payment account is protected by Multi-factor authentication, he or she can save payment details to facilitate future purchases in Telegram.
Telegram officials emphasize, that the messaging app, in this case, acts only as a mediator between the bot developer, the paying user, and their chosen payment system. Credit card details are sent directly to the payment system, and afterward, the system’s response and the users’ shipping details are transferred to the chatbot’s owner or developer.
Telegram chatbots payments are available in more than 200 countries, various payment systems are supported, including Stripe, Yandex.Money, Payme, Paymentwall.
3. Easy way with limited payment system choice
Mastercard created a Facebook Messenger bot Facebook Messenger that can be integrated with the chatbot of the Merchant or the Company, which wants to accept payments.
This way is open only for users who have Masterpass account.
Many specialists are sure, that the integrated payments are the only thing chatbots missed to “kill” the apps.
Those who do not regard the chatbots as apps’ competitors, also think that adding payments is a very important step to chatbot ecosystem development, and point towards the success of Chinese messaging app WeChat in this field.
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