Want to transfer money? There’s now a bot for that
There’s a big trend right now to move functionality from apps into chat services, but there’s one thing no-one has done before: moving money around the globe. Now money-transfer company Azimo has filled that gap by creating a Facebook Messenger bot capable of not only telling you rates, but also starting the process of sending money.
Azimo has more than a million customers worldwide, and lets them transfer their money quickly and easily in a huge range of currencies. It also uses a range of ways of delivering your money, from bank transfers through to – in some countries – delivery in cash.
Up till now, all that functionality has been only available through the app and website. According to Dan Martins, head of product and design at Azimo, the company realised a while ago that it could do some really good stuff using chat apps instead – and the most obvious fit for their customers was a chatbot.
“We get a lot of customer questions via Facebook already, such as questions about rates and where and how we can transfer money. It just seemed natural to build that into a bot that people could use via chat,” Martins said.
So why a Facebook bot, rather than (say) an iMessage app? The answer was down the number of potential global customers available via Facebook – 1.3 billion users and counting – and the ease of development of the Facebook platform.
It’s incredibly easy to use. Search for Azimo in Messenger, tell it that you want to check rates or contact a real human being for customer support, and answer a few questions about the currency you’re interested in. It then gives you the current rate, and you can click on a button to make a transfer. This opens the Azimo app, and populates it with the data on where you want to transfer to and from. All you need to do then is tell it where you want the money to go to, and your transfer is done.
The Azimo bot is the first consumer product feature to come out of Azimo Labs, which the company describes as “a developer community within the company that builds open-source code and creates innovative technology designed to solve real-world problems”.
The bot has been launched in English first, but the company plans to roll it out to other languages as soon as possible. Azimo is available on Android, iOS and via the web.