Facebook’s Chat Bot Patent Is Its Latest E-Commerce Play

A recently published Facebook patent enables users to spend for products through messaging bots on its app, highlighting the business’s continued expansion into commerce.Facebook wants users to buy their morning lattes by means of chat.The company’s patent application released recently entitled” Processing Payment Transactions Using Expert System Messaging Solutions,” describes a messaging bot that interprets and responds to users’purchase demands. Rather of opening a merchant’s app to look for and buy products, users could check out the business’s Facebook page, engage a messaging bot, and location orders within the chat.The patent adds more context to Facebook’s assistance for payments in Messenger

, a variation of which is presently in closed designer beta.An illustration from the patent below programs a chat between a user and a bot for a cafe.

The bot relays info about just how much a latte at the shop costs and the user validates that they ‘d like to order the drink. Then the bot asks how the consumer would like to pay, places the order, and concerns an order number and pick-up time.Specifically, the bot uses natural language processing (NLP )to engage with the user and examine their

messages. It comprehends clients’item requests, confirms the purchase, and starts payment based on the context of the exchange.Paying through chat bots might lower some payment discomfort points. The business’s patent filing states that at present,”lots of traditional electronic payment systems have several downsides that typically trigger users frustration, confusion, and result in an unacceptable payment process. “In most cases, consumers should go to a standalone app to purchase from a particular merchant.Chat bots, on the other hand, procedure payments without redirecting the user to another window or out of the chat, offering a basic one-stop user interface. Combined with Facebook’s broader market and checkout options, users may no longer have to count on numerous platforms to buy items from various sellers.This is certainly not Facebook’s very first effort at integrating e-commerce on its platform, and Facebook’s e-commerce plays have seen blended outcomes when compared to other social networks heavyweights. China-based WeChat, for instance, transitioned from a standalone social

network to a robust e-commerce marketplace and mobile payments service. China saw more than$15T worth of mobile payments volume in 2017, with WeChat accounting for about 40%of that number.Still, Facebook might not be so far behind. Merchants presently accept payments on the social platform via mobile store choices, and 80 million little services are already on Facebook. Facebook likewise supports peer-to-peer payments; users can conserve their banking details and send out funds to friends and household directly within Messenger.And with this patent, Facebook could provide a more social e-commerce experience; chat bots offering customer support, search, and payments, might eventually produce a more structured experience for businesses to sell through social storefronts.

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