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Telegram update brings payments 2.0, scheduled voice chats and other features

Merchants can enable the bot to offer several shipping options for physical goods based on the delivery address. When ready, users enter their credit card info or choose a saved card to make the payment.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | April 27, 2021 | Updated 14:51 IST
(Picture: Reuters)

Highlights

  • Telegram has introduced payments 2.0 that will let users pay merchants from within the app.
  • Telegram will also enable admins of groups and channels to schedule a voice chat for a particular date and time.
  • Telegram for the web is also supporting animated stickers, dark mode, chat folders among other features.

Telegram has introduced a payment 2.0 wherein merchants can create bots to send invoices to customers. Customers can then make payments by clicking on the Pay button that will come with the invoice through their credit cards, debit cards, or Google Pay. Telegram notes that it does not collect payment information and takes no commission.
"We first added support for payments in 2017. Payment bots allowed users to securely pay for goods and services without leaving the app -- anything from ordering a pizza to hailing a taxi, to replacing winter tires when you're tired of winter," the company said in a blogpost on Monday. "Starting today, merchants can natively accept credit card payments in any chat, relying on 8 integrated third-party payment providers such as Stripe," it added. Stripe's support page notes that users in India can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, debit cards.

For the Telegram payments method to work, merchants or services have to create a bot that offers goods and services to Telegram users. These merchant bots can then send invoice messages to the customer. Telegram notes that these invoice messages include a photo and description of the product with a prominent button.
Merchants can enable the bot to offer several shipping options for physical goods based on the delivery address. When ready, users enter their credit card info or choose a saved card and pay for the product. Telegram notes that it supports Apple Pay and Google Pay. Once the transaction is done, the merchant bot can send a receipt message with payment details, shipping, and delivery information.

Telegram in its blogpost has mentioned the 200 countries where the feature is available and the minimum and the maximum currency required to make the payment. The list mentions the Indian National Rupee with the minimum currency of Rs 74. 78 and a maximum currency of Rs 747, 875.

Telegram will also enable admins of groups and channels to schedule a voice chat for a particular date and time instead of creating one right away. This feature is aimed to give members of a group or channel catch up first before they tune into a broadcast with millions of users. Before the voice chat goes live, users will see a colourful countdown at the top of the chat. Users can also opt to receive a notification when the voice chat starts.

Now, Telegram will also enable users to change their profile picture and edit bios without leaving the chat. The company also said that they are adding two new, fully-featured Telegram web apps -- both supporting animated stickers, dark mode, chat folders, and more. With the new web versions, users can get instant access to chats on desktop or mobile. Moreover, it will let users expand photos from within the chat by zooming in the photo without having to open it. Further, Telegram for the web is also supporting animated stickers, dark mode, chat folders among other features.



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