There's a Telegram bot for almost anything you can think of: making games, reading news, creating other Telegram bots, or accepting payments. Telegram payment bots were born in 2017, when Telegram released the first version of the Payments API, allowing developers to create bots for accepting transactions in Telegram.
But, although this new API allowed some users to use Telegram as a payment gateway for their businesses, it wasn't designed with the purpose of monetizing your business. On top of that, the service didn't work in every country, only a few currencies and payment providers were available.
A year later, the InviteMember bot was created. This bot sought to tap into
Telegram's potential for creating mobile-first subscription-based businesses and serving the needs of creatives and entrepreneurs worldwide to become financially sustainable and independent.
Unlike payment bots, the InviteMember subscription bot can take care of a membership-based business, send automatic reminders, charge recurring payments and remove subscribers while accepting Telegram payments. And thanks to the service being based on bringing scalability and profitability to its users, you can start using it for free and upgrade as you grow.
If you're planning on creating your own Telegram payment gateway, you might want to consider some things. Learning the difference between a payment bot and a subscription bot, the basics for accepting payments through the app, and the available payment providers you could have, will surely help you make the best decision for your business.
Payment bot vs. Subscription bot
A Telegram payment bot is basically any bot that uses the Telegram, or a custom Payments API, for accepting payments through Telegram groups and channels. Each of these bots can be different and have as many features as a developer can enable for them.
Payment bots are added to your private group or channel so members can interact with them and make payments. The best example of a payment bot is the ShopBot. It resides in the Demo Store, a mock Telegram channel where imaginary goods are sold.
Having a payment bot, like ShopBot, will allow you to sell goods or services on an online catalog. The payment bot creates invoices that include a picture, text, and a payment button and can be sent to groups, channels, and single chats.
Building this kind of bot requires a certain level of technical knowledge or the skills of a competent developer. Telegram has a list of supported region-locked payment providers, including platforms like Stripe, ECOMMPAY, and Global Pay UZ, with their own bots to help you set up your integration.
Subscription bots go beyond the limits of the Payments API and what payment bots can do, allowing users to receive recurring payments from their customers. The first Telegram subscription bot was the InviteMember bot. Among many things, this bot will help you create a membership-based business made up of private groups and channels and accept a wide variety of payment options for paying for your subscription plans.
Recently, Telegram released another bot that can work as a subscription bot, the @Donate bot. This bot is intended to provide creators with a regular income via subscriptions. To to be eligible to use this service, you must meet the following requirements:
- Being the owner of the channel where you'll be collecting your donations
- Have more than one thousand followers
- The channel must be public and 3 months old at least
- Content must be entertainment or educational
Suppose you're eligible for using the bot. In that case, you'll pay a 2.5% payment processing fee, a 5% service fee per successful donation, and a 2.5% + €2 for transferring your money to your credit or debit card, or €35 for transferring directly to your bank account. Telegram will transfer the funds to you when it reaches a €100 minimum threshold for credit or debit card payouts or a minimum of €1,000 for bank account payouts.
Unlike the Donate bot, the InviteMember platform can be used instantly without passing through a selection process. If you already have a Stripe account, you can start receiving Telegram payments without even signing up to the platform. Creating an account with InviteMember will give you the advantage of accepting a wide variety of payment options worldwide, including credit and debit cards, more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies, and offline payments.
InviteMember is the only platform to let you start a membership-based business in Telegram for free without geographical or business size limitations. Creating your project with this bot will not only be fast and easy, but it will also provide you with a considerable variety of managing and marketing tools that will help your business grow.
The payments you'll receive through an InviteMember project will be paid directly into your account. So, for example, if you connect your PayPal Business account, your clients will pay directly to that account, and the money will be transferred directly from their wallet to yours. InviteMember will never handle your money.
Some of the main features of this subscription bot include:
- Automatic addition and removal of subscribers
- Flexible subscription plans
- Renewal reminders
- Automatic renewals
- Built-in support via SuchChat
- Custom commands
- Affiliate program
- Teamwork roles
In summary, payment bots are designed to accept one-time payments inside a Telegram group or channel, and they need to be coded and tailored for your particular needs. Some Telegram-supported payment providers have bots to help you create your own payment integration. Subscription bots allow you to charge for recurring payments and the InviteMember bot, in particular, allows anyone to build and grow membership-based businesses in Telegram from scratch. Which bot is better will depend on the characteristics of your own business and your plan for the future.
How to accept payments in Telegram?
To accept a Telegram channel payment with a payment bot, you'll have to build the bot using the Payments API. If you don't want to take the time to develop a payment bot you can sign up to one of the Telegram-supported payment providers' platforms and follow their guides to accept Telegram payments.
If you want to use a subscription bot, you'll have to define first if you’re going to accept donations or an actual payment in exchange for your services. If you want to receive donations from your subscribers, the Donate bot is your best option.
To set it up, you just have to follow these steps:
- Start the @Donate bot
- Select the "Creator" button
- Make sure you comply with the requirements that will be described to you
- Make the @Donate bot an admin in your public channel and give it the proper permissions
- Wait for your application to be approved
If your application gets approved, your clients will be able to pay you through the bot in your channel. Telegram will then hold your money until you reach the €100 or €1000 minimum payment threshold for debit and credit cards or bank account transfers correspondingly.
If you want to create a membership-based business, grant access to private groups and channels, and choose from a wider variety of international payment methods, then InviteMember is your best option.
To start accepting Telegram payments with InviteMember, you'll just need to follow the steps that will be prompted by the bot after you create it:
- Create a subscription-based project in the @InviteMemberBot
- Add the Telegram groups and channels you want to sell access for
- Create the subscription plans that your clients will pay for
- Add the customizable membership bot that will manage your subscription business and will be the interface between you and your clients
- Connect your payment options
Once your project is ready, all you have to do is share the link to your membership bot. Once your clients start it, they'll see your available subscription plans and pay to join each plan's included groups and channels Payments will go directly to the payment provider accounts you've connected.
What payment providers can be used in Telegram?
Payment and subscription bots can have a wide variety of payment providers. Last year, Telegram published the following list of supported payment providers that can be integrated with the Payments API:
- Global Pay UZ
Although the list might keep growing, each payment platform must be integrated individually into your payment bot. On the other hand, InviteMember has a comprehensive list of payment providers that can be connected and disconnected simultaneously with just a few clicks.
InviteMember's current payment providers are:
With which you'll be able to enable:
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
Which can also allow local payments like:
- Alipay in China
- Boleto in Brazil
- Giropay in Germany
- NETELLER, and others.
4) CoinPayments for accepting more than 2,200 cryptocurrencies
5) Razorpay for payers in India
6) Paystack for users in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa
7) Access Codes, a custom payment method that you can accept for receiving any kind of payment or granting free access, and it doesn't generate transaction fees.
Another great advantage of InviteMember is that you'll be able to create subscription plans that can be paid in one of more than 20 available fiat currencies.
Payment bots have been a great addition to an app already considered one of the best messaging apps out there. And even though accepting payments with a payment bot might sound helpful enough, the benefits of having a subscription bot that will help you take the tedious managing task off your hands while boosting your profits are incomparable.
In the end, the best choice for accepting payments in Telegram will be the one that fits your needs. Whether you want to buy goods and services through the app, accept donations, or start or boost your subscription-based business, there will be a bot that will work for you!