Facebook continues to build out the ecommerce capability of its messaging platform as it adds support for PayPal. Select U.S. users now have the option to link their PayPal accounts to their Messenger accounts and use it to handle payments and receive notifications directly within the Messenger app.
Previously, Facebook Messenger only supported debit cards for in-app payments, making this PayPal integration the first digital payment solution added on Messenger. Speculation swirled earlier this year that it would integrate Apple Pay as a payment option, but nothing ever materialized. Last month, Messenger enabled chatbots to accept payments directly within chats.
What Brands Should Do
By adding PayPal support, Facebook gives customers a new checkout option and enhances the payment experience on Messenger, which continues to improve as an emerging channel for brands to sell directly to customers. Retailers such as Everlane and Zulily are using the app as an ecommerce platform to connect with customers in a casual, messaging-based context, and other brands have been using chatbots to reach their audiences on one of the world’s most popular apps.
For more information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on messaging apps and other conversational platforms, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016 and our latest Fast Forward analysis on Messenger chatbots. If you wish to develop a branded chatbot to connect with consumers on messaging apps, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab.