In 2016, Facebook got very serious about chatbots. It wants to move to a world in which people can have conversations with bots inside Messenger as if they were humans.
The idea is that this is a more natural and intuitive way of finding stuff out (when’s my flight? where’s my order? have you got this size? etc) than menus and web sites and forms.
So it opened up its platform and now hosts hundreds of bots.
Now Facebook is testing payments to bots too – in the US.
“Payments can now be integrated into messages, making it easy for customers to shop and purchase without leaving the app. Messages with payments utilize industry-leading controls and financial information is protected with bank-level encryption.
“As of today, payments will be available for select developers in beta; businesses can apply through the Messenger developer webpage. We expect to roll out this capability more broadly by the end of the year.”