As Twitter expands into financial services, exploring potential revenue streams, we are likely to see more and more companies utilizing the simplicity and familiarity of the social network to encourage customers to make e-commerce payments.
We have already seen Charitweet, a platform that facilitates small donations to any charity through a quick tweet. Now, in India, ICICI Bank is enabling smartphone users to make money transfers, top up phone credit and monitor their balance all via Twitter. Customers do not have to bank with ICICI, they simply need to follow the bank’s Twitter handle — @icicibank.
To make a payment through the service — called icicibankpay — senders create a voucher by sending ICICI bank a direct message containing the recipient’s account name and the amount they wish to transfer. This will create a four digit passcode which the sender then shares with the receiver. The receiver can then use this code to authenticate the payment and receive their funds.
Similarly, users can check their bank balance with a direct message containing #ibal or view their last three transactions with #itran.
What other businesses could use Twitter’s simple interface to manage online payments?