South African communications company, Telkom has integrated Clickatell’s Chat 2 Pay feature, allowing customers to make payments by WhatsApp.

The move is said to be in response to a growing demand for fast, digital, self-help services. According to a statement, Telkom has deployed the Chat 2 Pay pay-by-link capability to allow customers pay bills, and buy airtime, data and SMS bundles, simply by sending “Hi” to a designated number.

With Chat 2 Pay, Telkom users make a menu selection to trigger a payment request before a link is then sent in a WhatsApp message. When they click on the link, they access a fully hosted checkout page. The user can then securely enter payment details and submit, receiving confirmation of the payment and receipt in a chat message.

“User behaviour has shifted, and organisations are relying more and more on digital channels for revenue generation. But, asking customers to make payments through a different channel creates a break in the customer journey and challenges companies to convert sales,” said Werner Lindemann, ​​Clickatell’s Senior Vice President Enterprise Sales, Growth Markets.

“Payments in chat give telcos the tools they need to help their customers complete payments simply and safely in the channel they already know and trust, significantly boosting customer the experience and revenue.”

The Chat 2 Pay feature allows users to pay bills and VAS top-ups via Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards, in addition to existing support offered by Telkom’s chatbot.

“With 93% of conversations transpiring on Clickatell’s Chat Commerce Platform and ending in a transaction, Chat Commerce, including Chat 2 Pay, is especially relevant for telcos that are looking for new revenue channels and better efficiencies,” Lindemann added.

Photo by Dimitri Karastelev via Unsplash