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This is the future: ordering and paying via WhatsApp

Reading a menu, ordering a product and paying via WhatsApp: Conversation24 makes it possible by building the first payment solution into the world’s most commonly used communication channel. Businesses can link the solution with Rabo Smart Pay.

From chat to purchase

Conversational commerce is the wave of the future. A business that has contact with tens of thousands of customers each month via customer service can’t live without conversational commerce. So Conversation24 supports companies by developing a ‘conversational strategy’. Founder and owner Nick Blom: “We help companies set up conversational commerce via WhatsApp, so they don’t miss out on the opportunities in that area. From the chat to placing an order for a product in the shopping cart, and then paying for the order.” Conversation24 works from Rotterdam with around 60 employees, and is a ‘full omnichannel’ firm that works for banks and insurers as well as retail and the hospitality industry.

Low-threshold contact

Hundreds of millions of people use WhatsApp every day for personal communication, but also for business. Because as Nick explains, WhatsApp is a low-threshold way to reach people. “WhatsApp has a market penetration of 98% in the Netherlands. But until now, there wasn’t an automated way to pay within the platform. So we recently built the world’s first payment integration in WhatsApp. We believe that’s the wave of the future: ordering and paying via a WhatsApp flow. That way, restaurant guests can start a conversation via WhatsApp, read the menu online, order, and pay for their meal.”

Customers with intent to purchase

For entrepreneurs, this opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Nick: “Take one of our clients, for example: clothing brand Under Armour. It has contact with consumers via a webchat run by customer service. Data has shown that more than half of those people have an intention to buy, but almost every online customer contact ends with the line: ‘Enjoy your order process!’. That’s just weird, isn’t it? In the shop, we’re accustomed to walk to the counter with the customer to pay for an item. With our payment solution in WhatsApp, it’s possible to organize the online chat flow in such a way that it results in an actual sale. It can either use a real person, a bot or a hybrid model where a person takes over from the bot during the chat.”

Link with Rabo Smart Pay

Conversation24 has noticed that entrepreneurs would rather arrange payment with their own payment service provider. “So we’ve created a link with Rabo Smart Pay for Rabobank. We’ve also already connected the first customer. Seabass, which sells sustainable fashion for children, preferred to wait to use the payment solution until the link with Rabobank was complete. To take advantage of this form of conversational commerce and payment via WhatsApp, clients only need an account with us, a Facebook Catalogue, and an ID for their own payment service provider. In theory, the client can go live and let customers pay via WhatsApp within an hour. This application has been live for around six months, and a lot of parties have expressed an interest so far. From major multinationals to the pizza place around the corner.”