The service is set up for transfers from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Europe also has the option to set up exchange rate alerts.
Users first have to transfer money into a local TransferWise bank account. When a transfer is made, TransferWise pays the same amount out from its local account into the receiver’s country.
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For Facebook users in the United States, the option to send money on Messenger has previously been for domestic transfers only. The TransferWise integration opens it up to cross-border remittances.
The service is one of the new Messenger chatbots – programmes which are integrated within the Messenger platform and allow for the delivery of third party services through automated tasks.
So far Messenger bots have been adopted by a host of developers and brands for services that include e-commerce, price comparison, loyalty programmes and even news delivery.
TransferWise’s integration opens up global remittances to Facebook’s dominance and in addition to extending the market for TransferWise, it also presents Facebook or its massive reach, as a potential rival to existing players.
Other remittances services will probably line up to introduce their own bots especially for thriving markets like Africa where Facebook has a marked presence and mobile remittances have already disrupted the traditional brick and mortar channel.
The Messenger bots integration for international transfers also appears to sound an alarm for mobile money services like M-Pesa and EcoCash.
Their businesses have marked dominance in local transfers and this has been extended to the international remittances markets through partnerships with entities like MoneyGram, WesternUnion and WorldRemit.
Messenger bots mean another option for partnerships that remittances services looking for straight to mobile convenience can eventually pursue.
image credit – TransferWise