The tech juggernaut is going to offer a payments panel in its popular email platform, Outlook. The service will be made available in phases, being accessible to a selected group of Outlook users over the coming weeks with availability to all users coming over the next few months.
Microsoft made the announcement on Monday. The service will allow users to make payments without having to leave their inboxes.
Microsoft reports the aim of the service is to “reduce friction between action and intent”, making payments easier for its users. The move is a part of Microsoft’s Actionable Messages concept. The basic idea behind Actionable Messages is that users should be able to quickly execute, or take action, on items inside inboxes and on their Teams platform, whether it is giving their approval on a expense report or putting a new sales lead in a CRM.
Microsoft will not, though, act as a bill pay provider.
A number of entities will be involved in enabling payments in Outlook. Stripe, Braintree, and other payments processors will provide processing, while Zuora will handle billing services and Intuit, FreshBooks, Invoice2Go, Wave, Sage, and Xero will take care of invoicing in the initial roll out. Additionally, Microsoft and Finserv are collaborating on integrating the latter’s Innovation Network into the former’s payments environment.
By Elliot Lyons, Research Analyst