Telegram payments: possibilities of the Payment API bot monetizing platform

2017-05-18 15:47:34
In: News Technologies Functional
The appearance of a Telegram bot platform has provoked an explosive growth in the chat-bot programming world. However, no one is interested in dealing with such development on a voluntary basis. Telegram 4.0 has a new feature - Telegram Payments which allows conducting payments within the given messenger as easily as at the store round the corner. Let us find out what to expect from Payment API.  

History of the Payment platform development

In 2015, the TechCrunch Disrupt conference for start-ups was held in San-Francisco. It was then that Pavel Durov has made public announcement of Payment API. This interface is created in order to automate the process of receiving the users’ funds by the game and chat bot developers. The money may be transferred directly to the bot creator for using his product and delivered to external resources within the implementation of one or another service’s functional as well.   In confirmation of this plan development, the major BotFather robot has made alternations to the terms for the API platform’s users on October 3, 2016. This rules state that the platform of monetizing bots and other HTML-services with the aim of realization of financial returns on work will be introduced in Telegram in the future. The given message also brings into focus that the creators of bot applications should not embed advertising into their products and try receiving payments from clients until it happens.     On 26 April, 2017, the Pavel Durovʼs subscribers had an opportunity of watching a small video about future updates in his Instagram account. It was a demonstration of the new release announcement draft where the Telegram payment system was described in detail. In a few words, it was reported that Payment API was meant for payment acceptance from subscribers and the messenger would not charge any fee. Besides, everyone interested in payment systems was invited to get involved. The most attentive fellow countryman noticed Russian keyboard layout on the Durovʼs MacBook and were happy at the fact that Durov still remembered his native language.     On 18 May, 2017, the great update for smartphones was released. Payment API is officially running in all Telegram versions, starting with 4.0.  

Telegram payments and their key features

The algorithm of payment transactions looks like this:
  • A botʼs creator makes all the required API keys available, basing on Payment API documentation. It is also necessary to choose a provider among those ones connected to the system to deal with transactions. He or she needs doing this proceeding from commission rates and other preferences.
  • After all the settings are completed, the «Pay» button becomes available for the chat robots’ owners and their clients.
  • When delivering a payment, a bot service’s subscriber enters his payment information and delivery address (if required). This data will be fixed with the payer’s account if two-stage authorization is enabled in the Settings. Mobile Apple and Android payments are also available.
  • Monetary transactions pass directly through two parties – a client and a provider. Telegram does not charge any commissions and does not take part in transaction processing. It just provides the Payment platform. Payment card data will not be available to third parties.
  • As a consequence, claim processing on the part of Telegram is missed. Solutions to any conflicts remain on the developer, processing services and banks’ conscience. Nevertheless, the Pavel Durovʼs team will provide reliable and qualitative moderation. Services which won the clients’ confidence will receive a special rate and disreputable projects will be banned.
  • In case of a successful payment, a client gets access to the report of the completed transaction, including all the information on this particular offer: the service or product’s name, its value, delivery data and brief payment information.
    At the early stages, the main offered processing system is Stipe. However, it can be assumed that the wider choice will be available in the future. Even now, the Russian Yandex.Money service got involved and Qiwi will join it later. The Payments are available for the developers from India via RazorPay, via Flutterwave in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Uganda and via Paymentwall in more than 190 other countries. Although, it may happen that some bot developers will have to wait till local providers join the system. The alternative is to make payments from abroad. One more potential difficulty is connected with the legal framework for commercial activity. Being an individual person, the botʼs creator cannot monetize his works. The incorporation and expense consideration are required.   It is understood that both sellers and their clients will want to test a new functional before investing real money and efforts in the development. For this purpose, there is the demo robot called Shop Bot by means of which you may follow all the steps from ordering to receiving the payment receipt. You may also use the Telegram Donate Bot for trying to spend a small sum of money by donating $1 or more to the project development.   You can only attach the Pay button to messages from bot accounts. This function is not available for chats and channels. But the messages with the goods or service have a button for repost in any channel, group or dialog for the viral distribution of goods.  

Alternative ways to monetize bots

Initially, there was no direct process which would help to gain an income from developments, the programmers were provided with alternative monetizing methods. There exist various advertising networks which offer the bots’ owners send advertisement messages from advertising marketplaces. The great example of such advertising space is Subscribers will get advertisement along with the robot’s answer according to the suggested scheme. In such a way, advertisers will be able to post their information in the most popular projects and developers – to draw income. The service is running on the basis of the «cost per click» model.   However, such actions virtually violate a messenger’s policy. There is no guarantee that your pet project will not be banned by the Telegram team. Besides, the need for such maneuvers becomes irrelevant with the appearance of a platform for sending and receiving payments directly within Telegram.    

Other new developments - Instant View and Telescope

In the mentioned release, some other current Telegram developments were added:
  • Firstly, the Instant View option for viewing external resources gained logical momentum. Clients duly appreciated the ease of opening links directly within Telegram long ago. However, the number of sources hooked to Instant View was limited. Now there is a possibility of hooking any website to the given option. You can obtain more detailed information on the Instant View technology in the Telegram-store blog.
  • Secondly, the Telescope service is developed. It is available at the following address: In its name, you can observe an analogy with the service for article publication - Telescope is meant for the public Telegram channels’ owners and bears an overall resemblance to the popular Stories format.
  • Finally, admirers of Telegram have been waiting for the video message feature. The reasonable question to be answered sounds like this: what is the difference between visual messages and ordinary videos which could be pinned to a dialogue by any user before? The essence of this development consists in providing more ease of use and higher rate for instant video sending by analogy with the Voice Message feature.
    The development team is constantly laboring at Telegram improvement, implementing all the required technologies which have already become a good practice in this messenger. They pay extra attention to innovations nobody has yet in order to create the best messenger in the world!