Telegram has released a new version of its instant messaging client, and with it provided significant insights over the future direction of the platform. A number of major new features have been introduced with Telegram 4.0, including support for payments.
Payment support has the potential to open up the Telegram platform to a wide range of new e-commerce functionality. Soon users could be able to order a pizza or book a taxi – all without leaving the confines of the app.
Part of the reason that payment support is so important is that it offers a good indication of how bosses at the company see the future of the platform.
The model worth considering here is WeChat in China, which has already integrated payments very successfully. WeChat is now an extremely popular method for purchasing services, expanding way beyond its instant messaging capabilities.
Interestingly, however, the way that payments have been set up within Telegram mean that they will not currently be a revenue source for the company.
Telegram has described the system as ‘Bot Payments’. It allows third-party developers to connect with payment processors, but Telegram itself does not take part in the transaction.
Currently Stripe is the only payment processor supported. However, many more will be joining soon, including big names such as Yandex.Money and PaymentWall.