Automated messaging platform SnatchBot will allow payments inside chatbots by linking to merchant PayPal accounts, making it easier to pair transactions with digital conversations.
The Herzliya Pituach, Israel-based SnatchBot supports natural-language bots, which its clients can use to make marketing or other communication more targeted and conversational. It does this by providing open development tools to create, test, publish and monitor chatbots.
The company's new feature allows users to embed payments inside these chatbots without storing sensitive personal or account details. All sensitive data is passed to PayPal for payment processing. SnatchBot users can chose among Slack, Skype, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and other messaging apps to deploy and accept payments.
Chatbots are a relatively old technology, but retailers are beginning to see the value of placing payments function inside automated conversations with consumers. PayPal has been embedding itself in chatbots in an attempt to make transactions more conversational—users can type "PayPal send $10 to @Steve," for example.
"The ability for bots to handle online transactions makes them even more versatile than ever before," said Henri Ben Ezra, cofounder and president of SnatchBot, in a press release. "It's our belief that this is a progressive step in changing the way e-commerce is handled in the very near future."