Meta wants to expand support for ecommerce. It has launched new payment options between users and businesses in Messenger.
— Meta Newsroom (@MetaNewsroom) July 18, 2022
For this instance, the new option allows businesses to request payment in the message thread. Users can transfer funds within the thread as well to complete the purchase.
“For example, if you’re interested in a backpack, all you have to do is send a message to the business about the one you love. From there, you can chat about customizations – like adding your initials – and then place your order right in the chat. In that same chat thread, you’ll also be able to track your order and ask the business any follow-up questions,” says Meta.
Simply put, the new option is like a payment transfer between friends. Messenger had a similar feature available since 2017 for group payments. And businesses can now tap into this feature.
Meta has been working on in-stream shopping for several years.
It has experimented with buy buttons, its own cryptocurrency, livestream payments, and more. All these initiatives have either been pushed back or has low take-up among consumers.
But Meta sees a big opportunity if only it can get its payment options in order.
The latest test with Meta Pay is critical. It’s not technologically advanced or the company’s first push for ecommerce. It has been using Instagram Shops for payments. But adding more merchants to drive payments directly from Instagram encourages them to depend more on the app and expand their business in it.
Payments via Messenger chats is now available to SMBs in the US who have not yet on Instagram Shops.