Imagine a world where you can order pizza, pay for a pair of shoes, hire a cab, or refill your subway pass — all in a few button taps on Telegram.
To make this world possible, we are launching Bot Payments today. Bot developers can now accept payments from their users around the world, just like that:
If you have Telegram 4.0 (or newer) installed, you can order goods or services from bots that offer them. These bots may now add a Pay button to their messages. When you tap Pay, you'll be asked to fill in your credit card and shipping information and confirm the payment. Then you get what you paid for. Voila!
If your account is protected by 2-Step Verification, you can save your card for future purchases. If you do that, ordering stuff from bots will only take two taps. Bot Payments also support Apple Pay for a completely frictionless experience.
Try our demo @ShopBot to get a taste of what's coming. (Note: Our demo bot thinks it sells time machines, but they're not a part of what's coming. Sadly.) If you're looking to test a real payment with actual money, stop by our @TelegramDonate bot.
Telegram is an open platform, so bot developers can implement the necessary APIs and accept payments from users starting right now, without lengthy approval dramas. If you’re a bot developer, check out the docs immediately!
At launch, most of the payments were handled by Stripe, but Telegram Bot Payments are a platform for payment providers all over the world. When accepting a payment from a user, the bot developer can choose between all available payment providers, selecting the one already used by the buyer or the one with the lowest commission.
UPD, 14.06.2017: Bot developers can now process payments from more than 200 countries via the global payment provider Paymentwall.
UPD, 01.09.2017: Rave by Flutterwave is now available, which is especially helpful for developers in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, and Uganda.
Follow our @BotNews channel to be the first to know about new providers joining.
If you’re a payment provider (especially in a developing country), click here to learn how to get on board.
Telegram acts as a messenger (pun intended) between the paying user, the bot developer, and their chosen payment system. The user sends their credit card details directly to the payment system. Then the payment system's response and the shipping details entered by the user are passed to the bot developer so that they can process the order.
Due to this structure, it is impossible for Telegram to handle complaints or cashbacks – any disputed payments are the responsibility of the bot developers, payment providers, and banks that participated in the exchange.
Since Telegram doesn't process the payments, we don't store and can't access any sensitive data. We also don't take any commission from payments and don't profit from these transactions.
Instead, we just do what every sheriff has to do with strangers passing through their turf: shoot the bad bots and award the good ones with a badge. We’re sure there’ll be plenty of good ones.
And if you're none of the above for some weird reason, be a user, do the right thing. Happy shopping, everyone!
May 18, 2017
The Telegram Team