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Amex Bot Enhancement Enables Purchases on Facebook and Messenger

American Express has made it easier to make purchases on Facebook and Messenger with the introduction of an “add a card” feature to its Amex bot for Messenger. The expanded capability enables U.S. consumer and OPEN card members to add American Express card and billing information to their Facebook accounts. Once the information is added, cardholders can make in-game purchases and shop on business’ Facebook pages.

“Amex is always exploring innovative new experiences to interact with card members, and Amex believes that showcasing how it could bring its world-class customer experiences to life through Messenger will be helpful and well-received by its card members who enable the Amex bot for Messenger,” Matthew Sueoka, American Express vice president and head of mobile payments, tells Paybefore.

The payments network announced a pilot of its Amex bot for Messenger in June, which enables American Express to interact with cardholders through Facebook Messenger using a “bot” to send cardholders purchase notifications and information. For example, a cardholder who buys an airline ticket would receive a purchase notification in Messenger as well as helpful information, such as restaurant recommendations in the destination city. The bot officially launched Sept. 9.

The bot was developed in-house, according to the company. American Express and Facebook partnered on several initiatives in the past, including the 2012 launch of a Facebook app enabling users of the social network to make P2P payments.

The use of bots, or chat bots, which are automated computer programs that simulate conversations with humans, have been growing in popularity. Examples include announcements by Mastercard and Bank of America that each company is introducing similar technology. Mastercard is launching a bot for client banks’ and merchants’ customers and BofA’s bot, which it says is more of an “assistant” will service its banking customers. Also, recent Facebook Messenger platform updates have enabled chat bots to not only accept payments within Messenger threads but enable users to share bots with friends, view different types of media and play basic games while still in the chat window.

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