Facebook Messenger adds payment prompts using artificial intelligence

Facebook Messenger
ON MESSAGE: Facebook’s M bot can now suggest ways for users to complete payments

Facebook Messenger users across the US are now being prompted to send and request money transfers by an artificial intelligence-based feature that detects when a payment is being discussed in a conversation on the social media platform and responds with a suggestion designed to help the user complete that payment.

“M offers suggestions by popping into an open conversation to suggest relevant content and capabilities to enrich the way people communicate and get things done,” the social media giant says. “M recognises when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money.

“To experience M, simply chat with a friend or a group as you normally would. M may make a suggestion in a conversation relevant to one of the core actions, and then the M logo and suggestion will appear — it’s that simple.”

Other suggestions that are initially available through M include sending stickers, sharing your location, making plans, starting a poll and ordering a taxi through Lyft or Uber.

A video gives an overview of M:

 

The service is available on iOS and Android and will “eventually” be rolled out to other countries. “This is just the beginning for M,” Facebook adds. “Expect to see more and more AI-powered, delightful and relevant experiences improving Messenger for you, every day.”

Facebook began testing payments through its Messenger service in July 2016. The social media giant also updated its Messenger chatbot platform to enable bots to accept payments without having to send shoppers to external sites to complete the checkout process in September 2016.

Facebook Bots were unveiled in April 2016 to bring a range of new functions to Messenger. American Express was an early adopter of the technology, allowing its customers to get real-time notifications of purchases through the app in June 2016.