Facebook’s Messenger platform has come a long way from when it was announced last year. And despite a lacklustre initial reception, there are big companies out there that are really doing more exciting things on the platform. One of these is Mastercard – which has just announced that it will soon allow customers to manage their accounts through Messenger.
According to TechCrunch, the feature which was announced at the recent Money 20/20 conference this week, will allow Mastercard account holders to “check on their accounts, track their spending, review past purchases and more right in Facebook Messenger.” Also,
[quote]customers will be able to ask a number of questions about their accounts, as well as set spending alerts, learn about their cardholder benefits, and receive offers through the MasterCard Priceless Experiences program[/quote]
The bot is powered by a “conversational AI platform” called KAI, and was created as a spin-off from the company behind Siri.
Although the bot is just being tested at the moment, Mastercard says that it will be rolled out to all users early in 2017. Customers in the U.S. will get the feature first, and expansion will come later.
For merchants, Mastercard has similar plans. By integrating Mastercard into Messenger, merchant will be able to start giving online shoppers the ability to pay for goods and services through the platform. To help them do this, Mastercard will be giving them access to the Bot Commerce API to start testing within their own bots.
There have been some examples of companies making serious use of the Messenger platform. KLM, for example. Or Tommy Hilfiger. In Mastercard’s industry, American Express also launched its own bot. However, until users themselves really start using bots, companies are unlikely to invest much there.
Facebook has been slow to get payments working on Messenger, but seems to be giving it some more attention recently. An example is the integration of PayPal within the platform. This of course opens up a world of possibilities.