TransferWise Launches Its International Money Transfer Service via Facebook

TransferWise, a money transferring company has finally launched its all-new money transferring service, which will allow users to transfer money internationally via Facebook Inc’s chat application. This was incorporated as a competition to the digital payments landscape.

On Tuesday, this London-based startup said that its idea was to come up with an impressive Facebook Messenger “chatbot”. They described it as an automated program, which would help users carry out their business and online purchase with ease.

TransferWise’s chatbot will enable its users to transfer money to family and friends from and to Britain, the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia via Facebook Messenger. It could also be used to enable exchange rate alerts.

Currently, via the Facebook messenger app, users can transfer money domestically within the United States, but the international service is yet to be launched. The start-up said they would be the first company to enable international money transfer via Facebook Messenger.

With a target to expand their enterprise transactions and customer service, the multinational company Facebook opened its Messenger application to developers so as to create chatbots. This happened in April last year.

Over the past year, Chatbots have become a very hot topic of discussion, especially in enterprise technology mainly because of the recent advances seen in Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI has made the chatbots more interesting mostly because of its interacting feature. Several businesses, including banks, have high hopes over these chatbots. They hope to reduce the cost of their consumer service operations.

TransferWise was launched way back in the year 2011 by 2 Estonian friends Kristo and Taavet Hinrikus. Interestingly, it is said that these guys started the company out of frustration as they were demanded a high fee for international money transfer. Today, TransferWise happens to be one of Europe’s best fintech companies.

The value of TransferWise is estimated to be more than $1 billion. Several high-profile investors back the company. Some of them are the Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, Silicon Valley venture-fund Andreessen Horowitz and Max Levchin and Peter Thiel, the co-founders of PayPal.

Every month, customers spread across 50 different countries send money roughly estimating to $1 billion.

The head of global partnerships for TransferWise, Scott Miller said that TransferWise chatbot is currently available in Facebook Messenger, but it could be adapted to operate on other popular chat service platforms. He said that their company aims at extending their services in other countries as well.

The launch of this chatbot comes as competition to international money transfer and mobile payment sectors. PayPal Holdings Inc, earlier this month, announced the launch of Venmo, its U.S. payments application. This would be available to various popular chat services like Slack.

Ant Financial Services, which is an affiliate of Chinese e-commerce firm the Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said earlier in January that it plans to acquire United States money-transfer company MoneyGram. If things go as planned, this deal would shake up the entire landscape of international payments.

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