Competition for leadership in the digital payments industry is intense, and with their announcement, TransferWise has just positioned themselves into the leading position.
They just announced their new service that allows their clients to send payments internationally through Facebook’s chat application.
The fledgling, London-based digital payments company says that it has developed a “chatbot” for Facebook Messenger, an automated program designed to help clients communicate with companies and complete tasks like online purchasing.
This new service is different and builds on the popularity of international money transfer sites such as https://www.thecurrencyshop.com.au/international-money-transfers.
Their Chatbot makes it possible for clients to send money to family and friends, to and from the United States, Europe, Britain, Australia, and Canada from Facebook Messenger. It also features an integrated exchange rate alert.
Sending money on Facebook via its Messenger app is nothing new, but unlike Facebook, TransferWise allows this to be done internationally. TransferWise says that its service is the first to provide international money transfers through Messenger.
In April, Facebook opened the app to allow developers to create Chatbots for Messenger in an effort to expand its reach in enterprise transactions and to increase its level of customer service.
Recent advances with artificial intelligence has caused Chatbots to become a hot topic in the industry over the past several months because they’ve become so good at interacting. Many businesses, including banks, are hopeful that they’ll be able to use Chatbots to improve their customer service operations while also decreasing its cost.
Already one of Europe’s most trusted fintech companies, TransferWise was launched by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann in 2011, both of whom had grown frustrated with the high fees that banks were charging for international money transfers.
Today the company has a value of over $1 billion, and is backed by Silicon Valley’s Andreessen Horowitz, PayPal co-founders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, and other high-profile investors.
Roughly $1 billion dollars is transferred through TransferWise’s website every month from more than 50 countries.
Scott Miller, the head of TransferWise’s global partnerships, says that while the Chatbot is currently only able to work with Facebook Messenger, it can be adapted for use with other chat services. He said the service would eventually extend into additional countries and transfer routes that the company is already operating in.
The launch of their Chatbot comes as competition in the international money transfer and mobile payments sectors intensifies. PayPal Holdings Inc announced earlier this month that its payments application, Venmo, would become available to users of the popular chat service, Slack.
In January, Ant Financial Services announced that it’s acquiring the U.S. money transfer company, MoneyGram, in a deal that is certain to shake up the international payments landscape.