Karmazina and Oleksandr Antonenko from PrivatBank showed participants of AI Conference Kyiv the operational concept of their new Telegram bot allowing to instantly pay for purchases.
Conference speakers tested the LiqPay payment system integrated into Telegram Payments. PrivatBank launched a service that will help Ukrainian entrepreneurs to accept money using Apple Pay and bank cards right on the messenger.
“Sales clerks on Telegram are special, as this resource is used by the young generation. Shops are developing there, adding content and desiring to monetize it. At the same time, Telegram has provided us with a possibility to install the ‘Pay’ button for these shops,” explained Kristina Karmazina, Head of e-commerce projects at PrivatBank.
“Prior to Telegram Payments, we asked guys from one of the online stores how they were going to get money from customers. They said that if goods were ordered via Telegram bot, people paid for them only in cash using a courier. In complicated cases, there is a link to the web page for payment. This is client-side superfluous movements. Thus, everything should be simplified for customers,” explained Oleksandr Antonenko, Software Developer at PrivatBank Electronic Business Center.
According to the developer, the Telegram payment service can be fully integrated into an existing online shop within eight hours. One should register the shop in LiqPay, specify the current account for receiving funds, obtain shop ID and key, and establish a contact with the chatbot.
In such a case, customers can conduct a transaction in a matter of seconds: participants of AI Conference Kyiv could check this out using test @LiqPayProdShopBot by purchasing a virtual pizza for 50 kopeks.
We have talked to speakers in order to find out how frequently bots are used in bank operations and what benefits major companies can receive using them.
Interviewer: AI Conference Kyiv (AICK)
Respondent: Kristina Karmazina (KK) and Oleksandr Antonenko (OA)
AICK: When did PrivatBank launch the chatbot for payments on Telegram? What challenges did you face?
OA: Just a very short while ago. In fact, we launched it a month ago but waited for Telegram’s approval. We had to fix some bugs and improve certain aspects. Apple also checked our service, causing some delays. Thus, the bot has been officially operating for a couple of days.
AICK: What services do chatbots provide to PrivatBank customers?
OA: For a start, we should separate terms: there is a chatbot as just an interface, and there is a smart system answering users’ questions asked in human language. In general, we are focusing on interfaces. We have only one smart system aimed at answering users’ questions on the chat.
We mainly apply chatbots to send notifications or as interfaces for the most popular features, including payments and P2P transfers. What we have recently added is the possibility to pay for goods on Telegram.
AICK: What are the advantages of chatbots for major companies?
OA: They allow to save on newsletters, because making them on messengers is quite profitable. Besides, if one has a free API, expenditures are minimum: only for shrinking servers. A server able to process 25 million transactions and notifications per day is cheaper than SMS along with this very server.
AICK: Can you give certain figures? How substantial are these savings?
OA: Here is an example: SMS sending costs 23 kopeks, sending on Viber via a paid API costs 11 kopeks, give or take several kopeks. Sending through a free API costs zero kopeks.
As the result, small sums saved will turn into millions.
AICK: Is it necessary for major companies to use bots in order to be competitive now?
OA: It is necessary to apply them as a notification delivery channel. If companies do not use them as a channel for incoming requests, they will lose a huge amount of useful information. Or they will lose an opportunity to provide cheaply some features that will otherwise require lots of money. For example, receiving any statement: things previously cost 20-30 UAH can be implemented now free of charge using app interfaces.
AICK: How important, in your opinion, is to hold specialized conferences for the development of AI industry?
KK: I frequently attend conferences and see the trend: people are not primarily aimed at content. They look for communication in an appropriate environment. New contacts are useful, while theory can be found on the Internet.
OA: We have earned a couple of UAH today: somebody has transferred money using our test Telegram bot.
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