TransferWise Chatbot Allows Canadians to Send Money Internationally Through Messenger

Money transmission company TransferWise is joining the chatbot movement, creating an interface for Facebook Messenger that helps users set up transfers from Canada, the US, Australia or Europe.

According to a new report from Reuters, TransferWise’s integration with Facebook Messenger will enable users to send money and set up rate alerts from without leaving the social networking app. The London-based startup said on Tuesday that it had developed a Facebook Messenger “chatbot,” or an automated program that can help users communicate with businesses and carry out tasks such as online purchases.

“Set up alerts for as many currencies as you like, and TransferWise Bot will send you an update every morning,” says the company. “And when the rate is right for you, you can ask the bot to set up your transfer.”

Facebook already incorporates a feature which allows users to send money via its Messenger app, however the range of the service is limited to domestic use in the United States only. TransferWise now allows Facebook users in Canada to utilize the messaging platform for sending money.

“Our mission at TransferWise is to bring faster, cheaper, and more convenient international money transfers to everyone in the world,” Scott Miller, the head of global partnerships at TransferWise, was quoted as saying. “Building the TransferWise bot for Messenger is a great step in that direction. We know Canada is a country built on multi-cultural roots so we’re proud to become the first service to enable Canadians to send money to friends and family internationally via Messenger. It’s also a powerful example of how our API can be used to seamlessly integrate TransferWise into almost any messaging, bank, or business payment system.”

This launch comes amid an intensifying race to create similar software, as chatbots are deemed a more viable customer service option following improvements in interaction through artificial intelligence.

The company is based in London, and was launched in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann who, according to Reuters, started the company following “frustration with high fees” that were being charged by banks for international money transfers.

TransferWise is now a platform being used to move around over $1 billion USD a month, with the company’s value also in excess of $1 billion USD. Among the company’s list of high profile investors is Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal.