Facebook Messenger added a new bot. It’s a bot that can deliver your flight information to one thread. The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the first airline partner of Facebook with its bot running in some locations.
“We’re proud to announce our first airline partner for Messenger, KLM! With this integration, you can receive your KLM flight confirmation message, access your KLM boarding pass, receive check-in reminders, get flight status updates, and have your customer service questions answered, right from Messenger.”
With this latest update, you can choose to receive details through Messenger each time you book tickets through the airline’s website. Once you enable this feature, the bot can send your itinerary, check-in confirmation, delay notifications and other details that are important to you.
What’s great is that you can talk to a personal customer support rep in case you have questions that a bot can’t answer.
Earlier in 2016, it was reported that Facebook has given its SDK for Messenger to some developers to grow and develop an army of chatbots. This bot of the said airline is one of the results of the effort.
This type of bot is a common feature amongst Asian messaging apps, like Line and WeChat. It has been around for quite some time, and Western counterparts are just following suit.
During the Build 2016 Conference, Microsoft also announced that Skype’s latest version will run AI chatbots. The company even boasted that the chatbots will let you order pizza within the app.
Pay in Person
Facebook is also looking to be part of the digital wallet game. According to several reports, the latest version of Facebook Messenger has some commands that include pay in person, no cash needed and other related terms. Facebook has declined to comment. So, it’s not clear whether those features will see the light of day.
However, if it’s true, Facebook will be competing against Apple, PayPal, Samsung and Google.
It’s the first time for the social networking site to dabble payments. In 2015, Facebook Messenger introduced its payment market as it allowed the friend-to-friend transaction. But such feature didn’t enable users to make credit card as a mode of payment.
If the company wants to enter the mobile payment space, there are several obstacles that it must face. One of them is that it needs the cooperation of financial institutions to develop an appropriate infrastructure to handle this type of transaction.
By 2019, we can see mobile payments to increase and to reach $142 billion in volume. But the obstacle of mobile payment is customer acceptance. Although smartphone users can access mobile payments, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to use it.
In a report by Time, it was said that 9 percent of consumers had used the mobile payments when they first came in. And only 42 percent of them used this method to make a purchase.
Thus, if Facebook will move forward with its plan, it may take some time for its users to utilize the mobile payment.