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Conversational Commerce: Happy Paying!

King’s Day ended with a new record: 650,000 payment transactions between consumers via Tikkie. And this is not the only record. A joint study conducted by the Dutch Payments Association and the Dutch Central Bank showed that the number of payments via digital payment requests in 2017 tripled compared to 2016, amounting to 96 million payments per year. This means that digital payment requests take up 21% of all payment transactions between consumers..

Conversational commerce & conversational transactions

These results also demonstrate that consumers are now familiar with and willing to make payments in this way. This trend is part of a more comprehensive aspect: conversational commerce. The term was introduced in 2015 by Chris Messina, former Developer Experience Lead at Uber. Conversational commerce refers to the increasingly fading boundary between messaging apps and online shopping, partly made possible by the worldwide rise of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

A variation on this is called conversational transactions. This term implies that the emphasis is less on the purchase of products via messaging services and more on meeting the payment obligation such as an outstanding invoice.

“It’s about the convenience of buying something”

Let’s start with an example of conversational commerce. An airline can be reached via WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Questions like “How much hand luggage can I take on board?” or “Can I upgrade my seat?” are asked regularly. The answers can easily be found on the website but passengers choose to pose their question via messaging channels because they go for convenience and speed.

During a WhatsApp chat, it becomes clear that the passenger has packed a little more hand luggage than allowed. The agent who handles the conversation and the passenger hence agree that an extra suitcase has to be booked. To pay for this, the agent prepares a digital payment request and sends the request instantly via WhatsApp to the passenger, who transfers the amount straight away. It is all taken care of in 5 minutes, which is great because the passenger has to fly in just a couple of hours.

Thanks to the user-friendly and easy processing of the payment, the airline scores well on KPIs such as the CES (Customer Effort Score). This is also a great example of how Customer Support creates additional sales.

More than a purchase

‘Purchasing’ something is, of course, a very common situation. As a company, you can use messaging to arrange for so much more than payments. This is called conversational transactions.

Someone decides to become a customer, or a customer wants to give a direct debit authorization or change his bank account number. With a link received via a messaging channel, the customer is directed to a unique web page where the digital authorization is waiting for him. The customer only needs to check the details and indicate a payment term. The customer then signs for the payment via iDeal.

A customer still has to pay for something. There is an outstanding invoice, a reminder, or a failed direct debit attempt. You are already talking to the customer via a messaging channel. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you can offer the payment option via messaging so the outstanding invoice can be paid right away? You can be sure that the outstanding amount has been paid and the customer can tick the invoice off his list of due payments. Furthermore, it is also possible to offer a payment arrangement via messaging.

The Power of Messaging and the Simplicity of a Payment Request

The concept of conversational commerce and conversational transaction is simplele, but the solution is multidimensional. Arrange payments via the desired channel and the desired payment methods of your target group

Desired Messaging channel Desired Payment methods
WhatsApp IDEAL
Facebook Messenger Sofort
Twitter Direct Message Creditcard
Good old SMS PayPal


Advantages for customers & users:

  • No more exchanging of and typing long IBAN numbers;
  • No more switching between email and online banking app on the smartphone;
  • It is faster and simpler;
  • You use (messaging) channels you already use every day.

Do you want to introduce conversational commerce?

SaySimple offers conversational commerce solutions in collaboration with, among others, AcceptEasy and Tikkie. Would you like to get more information about the options? Then don’t hesitate to contact us via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Twitter DM. Naturally, you can also use the contact form on our website or call +31 (0)23 – 554 67 66.

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written by
Joey Drieskens
The Messaging Agency