Large companies are starting to embrace bot technology, with Mastercard, MoneyGram and Western Union all announcing new services on Tuesday afternoon.

Western Union's bot allows Messenger users in the U.S. to send funds to more than 200 countries in 130 currencies, with cash disbursement at more than 550,000 agent locations. It also enables users to send money using real-time foreign exchange rates.

MoneyGram's Sendbot is also available to U.S. users to send money to 350,000 locations in 200 countries it also includes tracking and location finders. The companies' announcements coincide with Facebook's annual developer conference, F8.

Both companies are embracing Facebook Messenger payments under various degrees of duress. Western Union is challenged by dozens of startups that are using cloud and blockchain technology to challenge the incumbent's long held position as a primary venue for remittance and other cross-border transactions.

MoneyGram is in the midst of a contentious acquisition battle between Ant Financial and EuroNet, which has included Ant's claims that EuroNet would cut jobs, and a subsequent increase in its bid.

By adopting bots, both companies hope to reach consumers who are increasingly using Facebook Messenger, which is designed to embed payments.

Western Union and MoneyGram's announcements came alongside an announcement from Mastercard that The Cheesecake Factory, FreshDirect and Subway for Messenger will use Masterpass for chatbot payments.

Subscribe Now

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the payments industry

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry