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Integrating payments with chat

For a start, it is important to define what I mean by chat. In this context, “chat” does not mean that irritating chat-blob that often pops up when you visit a website. Not at all. What I am referring to is using a chat application like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to engage with a brand. Instead of using these chat applications to communicate with friends or family, you use it to get things done with a business, for example a bank or airline. Often this interaction can also lead to the conclusion of a payment. In this blog, I am looking at some of the things that should be considered when integrating payments within a chat interaction.

The actual payment is less of an issue. Nowadays it is quite easy to connect to payment gateways enabling all kinds of payment mechanisms or tender ranging from credit cards to direct bank debits, to payments in all kinds of currencies and crypto currencies. So it is therefore easy to envisage how one would integrate a chat commerce implementation with a payment gateway. The biggest challenge is therefore not to integrate with payment gateways, but to implement the business aspects of payments. For example, payment authorization, what to do when a payment gets declined or disputed, and how to resolve inconsistency. The reason that credit card payment systems are so robust and that trillions of dollars can be processed effectively with very little failures is because these business aspects are well defined.

When thinking about chat commerce on mobile it is important to note that the identity of the user is very well known, with very high level of certainty, probably more so than with any other digital interaction. There are also many factors that makes identity theft very difficult on chat platforms. It is even possible to get a high “biometric” authentication by analyzing the style of chat for example the length of messages, how quickly the response is made, typical words that are used etc. It is also possible to have additional security questions captured in and outside of the channel. In summary, authenticating a payment transaction in mobile chat is easy, non-intrusive and probably even higher than in most other channels.

The fact that authentication, and by implication authorization, can be done at these high levels, coupled with an audit trial that is both rich in data and explicit about the intention of the user - achieved by confirming the intention to pay - makes dispute resolution possible. In this context, when a user disputes a payment transaction, the dispute should typically be lodged in chat. Resolution can easily be driven through AI by using the historic chat data to clarify if the payment was indeed authorized. Just consider a seamless, easy to use way to find out that you actually did authorize the payment or not, and for the payment to be reversed in a convenient and non-intrusive way on the time and terms of the consumer.

Chat commerce on mobile devices holds the promise to improve the payment experience while making it more secure and easier to integrate into your lifestyle.




Comments: (1)

Matthew Key
Matthew Key - - London 03 June, 2020, 15:20Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Yes i agree with this. The profiling of chat behaviour is very personal and should lead to less fraud as identities can be more exact.

Hannes Van Rensburg

Hannes Van Rensburg

Chief Commercial Officer


Member since

27 May 2020


Naples, Florida

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Payments strategies 2015-2020-2030

Payments systems visions, strategies, trends, pilots, forecasting, and planning for the short-, medium-, and far-term.

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