Instagram is testing a feature among some of its users that adds native payments to the popular app. First reported by TechCrunch, it allows someone to register a credit or debit card to their profile and create a pin number for security. After the initial setup, users will be able to make purchases without having to leave Instagram.
Right now, the payments feature is in its early stages. An Instagram spokesperson confirmed the trial, adding that native payments can be used for booking appointments at a limited number of places, including restaurants and salons. The company's ToS reveals that Instagram Payments are backed by parent Facebook’s Payments rules.
A full list of which businesses support the feature hasn’t been released, but one of the first is dinner reservation app Resy—some of its clients’ Instagram Pages now accept native payments for bookings. Instagram says that it will eventually support direct payments for a range of goods and services, such as booking movie tickets. Back in March last year, the company announced that it would allow users to book a service with a business directly from their profile later in 2017, but it didn’t say anything about the native payments.
While the feature may sound similar to the shopping tags that were introduced in 2016, those differ by bringing up a retailer’s website when you select a photo of a product, forcing you to enter your payment details. With a convenient, integrated payments system, more users are likely to make purchases.
It probably won’t be long before the current trial expands to cover more businesses and is rolled out to more users. To see if you’ve already recieved it, look for “payment settings” in your profile settings.