Facebook is reaching out to payments industry giants such as PayPal, Braintree, Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Stripe to help Messenger bots accept payments directly, Messenger chief David Marcus told attendees at a technology industry event Monday afternoon.
The social media company plans to enable payments for the more than 30,000 bots that developers have built to embed interactive messages within instant message apps. For payments, the benefits include improvements in marketing because the technology can better anticipate consumer needs and preferences. Facebook previously announced its collaboration with Amex.
Facebook Messenger now has more than 1 billion users, David Marcus announced at a TechCrunch event, and more than 34,000 developers are working on Messenger's bot platform. At the event Marcus, a former PayPal executive, said new enhancements for Messenger will improve latency and other usability issues.
The new technology allows for identity management, transaction capabilities and the ability to build native interfaces, all of which can allow payments without sending users to external websites, Marcus said. For example, a forthcoming Hipmunk travel bot can help consumers locate and book travel and show an itinerary within the Messenger app.
Facebook's making its move as pairing social networking and payments becomes increasingly popular, Paypal's Venmo has drawn younger users to its P-to-P app, and ABN Amro and Snapchat are also offering social payments.