First ever share trade made via Facebook Messenger

AJ Bell Youinvest has become the first DIY investment platform in the world to complete a live share trade using Facebook Messenger, purchasing £500 worth of Facebook shares on 25 May 2016. In April 2016, Facebook launched its Messenger Platform which enables firms to build automated customer services functions using ‘Chat bots’, computer programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence

Facebook’s Messenger Platform is already being used by companies to enable their customers to access news, order flowers or purchase fast food.

This list is set to grow rapidly to capitalise on the massive usage of messenger apps. Research shows that, on average, smartphone users only interact with five apps regularly and two of those are messenger based, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Viber.

AJ Bell Youinvest has become the first DIY investment platform to investigate how its customers could invest via Facebook Messenger.

Tim Huckle, digital strategy director at AJ Bell, explains:

“At AJ Bell Youinvest we continue to explore ways of using new channels to interact with our customers and help them manage their investments.

“We have created a secure authorisation framework between the Facebook Messenger Platform and AJ Bell Youinvest. We have added a further layer of security whilst keeping it easy to log-in by sending a time-sensitive, one use PIN to the customer's registered mobile phone.

“Following some testing we linked our Facebook Messenger bot to our trading platform and at 15:16hrs 25th May 2016 we bought £500 of Facebook using my live account. In doing so, we believe that we became the first company to complete a live share trade using Facebook Messenger.”

This video shows the process from a desktop for the convenience of recording it but the real value to investors will be to interact with the messenger bot via their smartphones.