Facebook is testing payments via its Messenger app, according to David Marcus (pictured), the company’s VP of messaging products, speaking at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference.
The company is enabling developers to add payment capabilities to their bots without sending users to an external website. The idea is to accelerate commerce on the platform by using credit and debit cards stored in Facebook or Messenger.
Following a trial, the intention is to rollout the service across all developers on Messenger.
The social networking giant is working with PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Stripe and Braintree (a unit of PayPal), among other payments firms.
Essentially, Marcus put some more substance behind comments he made previously at the F8 development event on how Messenger is becoming the vehicle for the social network’s commerce and payment ambitions.
There are 34,000 developers on the company’s bot platform.
He said there is a far higher sales conversion rate for apps that use bots over those that direct users to websites.
Facebook will make revenue from selling advertising in its newsfeed that will direct users to Messenger.
The goal is not to take a cut of e-commerce transactions, insisted Marcus in an interview with Bloomberg. “Facebook’s business is advertising and we believe if we can help businesses grow that’s great and that’s what we are going to focus on and there’s more value for everyone there.”
The idea is for users to discover bots via their Facebook newsfeed, he said, and not create a standalone bot store.