Hi. Make payment. Bye. Maris, Erkki, 11 Jun 2018
You ask your friend in Facebook Messenger “Hi. How much do I owe you for yesterday’s pub race?”. And then you make the payment right there, without even switching apps.
At least this is how we do it these days. We've made it work with a real bank.
Log in by saying Hi.
So how does it work then? It almost looks like an ordinary conversation.
You can basically do all primary operations. Pay your friend, see what your last transactions were or even search through your payment history.
When you become a client for a bank, one of the barrier that the banks marketeers want to breach is having you download the bank app. Facebook Messenger is an app that has probably already breached this barrier - over 1 billion downloads to this date. You highly likely already use it on your smart device. This means that you already have an app for making basic transactions.
The youth segment also "lives" there, the ones who do not check e-mails. This is also a great way to build up their banking relationship by meeting them where they are.
Looking further. Lets say you have been using the bank's chat bot for a while. How would you feel if it could give you proactive advice? "Hey, I noticed that you have some extra money again in the end of last month. Would you like to move it to savings account to make you some money?".
What about the implementation?
The functionality can be integrated basically to any bank system that has an API. No need to re-develop the whole front end.
It took us only few weeks to implement it for the bank. The bank on their side did not have to develop anything.
Authentication within FB Messenger
One of the biggest variables in the implementation logic is the authentication part. Messenger is not something that usually relates to security, especially if money is involved. This is actually not the case, as the authentication takes place outside of the messenger, using the methods already familiar to the user.
In the examples above we have used Estonian Mobile ID, which makes a secure authentication a breeze. The solution in other countries would probably be something different - SMS verification or Google Authenticator being one of the more common options.