Keeping track of finances when traveling can be a huge chore whether it’s for a business trip, a study abroad, or a relaxing vacation. Spending and earning can be fun, but keeping track of the exchange rates, making sure transfers aren’t taking a huge chunk as a fee, and language barriers are not. Savvy travelers may keep a tight budget, but even then unexpected things can happen—petty theft, overspending, or other surprises.
The Western Union bot might not keep these inconveniences from happening, it might be a huge help for transferring money internationally. Customers can currently access the Western Union bot on Facebook Messenger via their desktop or mobile phones. The bot allows users to move money into bank accounts to almost anywhere in the world, even in cash if you’re near one of their retail Agent locations. There’s a small fee, but nothing more than what a foreign ATM would charge you.
The bot allows users to find those locations and even access customer support. Western Union has taken a page from other bots that integrate AI with real-life agents, giving users a space for both straightforward tasks and situations where they might need a helping hand in 200 countries and territories across 130 currencies. These are real-time foreign exchange rates as well, which feel preferable to the dodgy currency exchange booths you’ll see everywhere abroad. Those especially cautious about foreign transfers or skeptical of Messenger as a platform for finances will be happy to hear they’ll be bringing all money laundering and fraud detection capabilities to the bot.
“The Messenger platform allows Western Union to interact with our US customers where they are, when they need us, in the most natural, conversational way,” says president of global money transfer Odilon Almeida in a statement Finextra shared.
For all the great features the bot boasts, however, there’s actually not a lot of chatting going on. When we first messaged the bot, they presented three options: Send money, Track Transfer, and Customer Care. “Send Money” takes you to the Western Union website where you enter the appropriate information. Tracking asks you for you tracking number. Customer Care puts you in line to talk to a rep.
While it’s completely understandable that a financial bot that deals with sensitive information directs you to the website, the praise for this bot’s capabilities should really be directed more at Western Union’s transfer service. More honestly, WU bot works wonderfully as a way to engage customers on Facebook and market their features to those on the social network. Considering Messenger is free and easy, we anticipate that the Customer Care feature will prove extremely helpful for those seeking out assistance abroad.
What do you think about the Western Union bot? Would you use it to transfer money across waters? Let us know in the comments below.