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How TransferWise’s Facebook hook-up could benefit businesses

Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransferWise
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg via Getty Images
Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransferWise

Money transfer platform TransferWise hopes to tap into new markets with the launch of a new service which allows users to send money internationally via Facebook's messenger app.

As of Tuesday, users of the social media messaging service will be able to exchange international currencies through a TransferWise bot, expanding the start-up's aims to make its services available to people, "wherever they are on the internet".

However, it's not only individual users on social media who will benefit from the new capability. According to Scott Miller, TransferWise's head of global partnerships, the new service is set to get other companies "very excited", particularly those that regularly exchange money internationally.

"The next natural category of companies to take advantage is likely to be businesses that currently waste money going through banks. You'll likely see other companies get very excited about this," Miller told CNBC Tuesday.

As part of its "TransferWise everywhere strategy", the London-based start-up has developed an application programming interface (API) which allows its payment service to be latched onto existing businesses capabilities, removing the need for banks and additional fees.

Transferwise app.
Source: Transferwise | Facebook
Transferwise app.

It so far powers international payments for European banks, Germany's N26 and Estonia's LHV, as well as several global businesses.

TransferWise's new Facebook service is currently available to Messenger users in the U.K., U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe. However, it intends to expand this across its network of 50 countries as demand grows.

"Social media, and messaging apps in particular, is already used for sharing pictures and videos. The next natural thing to do is to send money home," said Miller.

He added: "I don't know what's next but we'll get feedback from our customers. We can pretty easily switch it on in our other markets."