Microsoft Teams, one of the world’s largest business-centric communication applications is getting an upgrade: Payments. No longer need webinars, meetings, or classes be free of charge, with small- and medium-sized businesses being afforded the opportunity to begin charging customers to attend their sessions.
This opens an entirely new market for tutors, lawyers, or anyone else that sells knowledge to interested parties. There’s just one problem. The Payments feature is limited to businesses in the US and Canada (for now, at least). You can see the app listing right here, though unless you reside in the US or Canada, is there really even any point?
Joining the Teams
This was just the next logical step in the evolution of online meeting tech. As Brenna Robinson, manager of Microsoft 365 small and medium business puts it in her interview with The Verge; “The pandemic changed the game.” Where before people would be limited to meeting with their financial advisor in person, Team Payments is changing all that.
“I’m not sure I’m ever going to meet my accountant in-person ever again. I think we’ve learned that we maybe didn’t need to be in-person for all of these things.”
Well, she would say that. Still, despite the obvious PR promo, she’s not wrong. When there’s an option to host a webinar in your PJs and still earn cash for it, why wouldn’t you? People are annoying, traffic plagues the roads and fuel prices are shooting up all around the world. Better to stick to the comfort of your nightgown.
South Africa, when?
Payments is live today as a part of a public preview and is free to any Teams Business user (in the US and Canada). Microsoft has partnered with GoDaddy, PayPal, and Stripe to incorporate payments, though users downloading Payments today will only have the option of using PayPal and Stripe for their customers.
Payments in Teams has a bright future, especially if Microsoft continues to expand into new territory and bolster it with new features. It seems like that is the plan, according to Robinson; “I think we’re interested in this space… I’d say this is the first step of many thinking about how SMBs (small- and midsize-businesses) engage with their customers.” Whether that extends to the South African market sooner or later (or even at all), remains to be seen.