Twilio makes it easier to take payments over the phone

Making a payment over the phone, maybe because you are trying to change an airline ticket or to pay a last-minute bill, still feels like an antiquated process. You read your credit card number to an agent, then your expiration date and your security code. In the process, some number will inevitably get mixed up and you start the process again. Twilio wants to make that far easier. The company today announced Pay, a new product that aims to take the hassle and security concerns out of this process.

Twilio Pay, which is PCI-compliant, allows businesses to easily accept payments through their automated voice response systems or by their contact center agents. And all of this happens without having to give your credit card data to an agent. Instead, the agent or the phone tree can kick off the payment process, which is then handled by Pay and which has you enter your numbers securely. Your credit card data is then tokenized and securely processed and all the human agent sees is that the payment has been processed.

Twilio will charge $0.10 per successful transaction.

For developers, adding this functionality into an existing virtual call center or voice response system only take a few lines of code. Pay also will be integrated into Twilio Studio, the company’s drag-and-drop low-code environment. Unsurprisingly, Twilio’s Flex contact center solution — which we hear is growing rapidly — will also support it out of the box.

Stripe is the first payments processor that Twilio has worked with, but the platform is open to others as well.

Twilio Pay is now in public beta and will become generally available in the first half of 2019. It’ll be available in the U.S. and a number of international markets. That international availability is mostly about the markets that Twilio’s partners support.