Bot Payments API

Telegram Bot Payments are a free and open platform that allows sellers to accept payments for goods and services from Telegram users. Telegram doesn't collect payment information and takes no commission.

Note: This article is intended for bot developers and store owners. If you're looking for a general overview of Telegram Payments, check out the Telegram blog.

If you are new to Telegram bots and would like to learn how to create and set up a bot, please consult our Introduction to Bots and Bot FAQ.

Introducing Payments 2.0

Payments 2.0 were added in April 2021 with Bot API v.5.2. New features:

  • Send invoices to any chat, including to groups and channels.
  • Create invoices that can be forwarded and used by multiple buyers to order things.
  • Use inline mode to help users show your goods and services to their friends and communities.
  • Allow tips from users with preset and custom amounts.
  • Accept payments from users on mobile or desktop apps.
  • Try @ShopBot to create a test invoice – or start a message with @ShopBot ... in any chat for an inline invoice.
  • Check out Demo Shop for an example of a Telegram Channel used as virtual storefront.

Users need to update to Telegram 7.7 or higher to use Payments 2.0 (for Telegram Desktop, 2.7.2 or higher). Older mobile apps released after May 2017 support basic payments in chats with bots.

How does this work?

You create a bot that offers goods and services to Telegram users. Merchant bots can send specially formatted invoice messages to users, groups or channels. If your bot supports inline mode, users can also send invoices to other chats via the bot, including to one-on-one chats with other users.

Invoice messages feature a photo and description of the product along with a prominent Pay button. Tapping this button opens a special payment interface in the Telegram app. In this interface, users can choose a tip amount (if allowed by the merchant) and enter additional details like shipping info, phone number, or email address.

The bot can offer several shipping options for physical goods based on the delivery address. When ready, users enter their credit card info or choose a saved card — and pay for the product. Telegram also supports Apple Pay and Google Pay. Once the transaction is done, the merchant bot can send a receipt message with payment details, shipping and delivery information.

Detailed information and step-by-step instructions are available below.

Supported Payment Providers

Telegram does not process payments from users and instead relies on different payment providers around the world. It is the payment providers that handle and store all sensitive information, like credit card details. Neither Telegram nor the bot developers have access to it.

For the moment we support payments from more than 200 countries via the the following payment providers:

We continue expanding this list, follow @BotNews for updates.

If you work for a company that provides services similar to standalone accounts in Stripe Connect, please let us know via @BotSupport (include the hashtag #paymentsprovider in your message).


The Payments API

This section explores payments via Telegram's Bot API in more detail.

Connecting Payments

To start accepting payments, you need a Telegram bot. Use BotFather to create a bot if you don't have one already.

Now you have a merchant bot that can offer goods or services to Telegram users. Let's call it @merchantbot in this document. The first stop is to choose and connect a payment provider, you can find the list of supported providers above.

Getting a Token

  • Use the /mybots command in the chat with BotFather and choose the @merchantbot that will be offering goods or services.
  • Go to Bot Settings > Payments.
  • Choose a provider, and you will be redirected to the relevant bot.
  • Enter the required details so that the payments provider is connected successfully, go back to the chat with Botfather.
  • The message will now show available providers. Each will have a name, a token, and the date the provider was connected.
  • You will use the token when working with the Bot API.

Implementing Payments

You will find the necessary methods for building your payment implementation in the Payments Section of the Bot API Manual.

Testing Payments: the 'Stripe TEST MODE' Provider

While you're still developing and testing payments for your bot, use the “Stripe TEST MODE” provider. When in this mode, you can make payments without actually billing any accounts. Real cards can't be used in test mode, but you can use test cards like 4242 4242 4242 4242 (full list here). You can switch between test mode and live mode as many times as you want, but please see the live checklist before you go live.

Step-by-Step Process

See Bot API: Payments for the complete list of available methods and objects.

1. Create Invoice

The user contacts @merchantbot and requests to purchase something. The bot forms an invoice message with a description of the goods or service, amount to be paid, and requested shipping info. There are two ways of creating an invoice:

A. Bot Invoice

Use the sendInvoice method to generate an invoice and send it to a chat. The provider_token parameter is where you put the token value that you've obtained earlier via Botfather. It is possible for one merchant bot to use several different tokens for different users or different goods and services.

As of Payments 2.0, invoice messages with a pay button can be sent to chats of any type: private chats with the user, groups, or channels. The resulting invoice message will look like this:

Bot Invoice

B. Inline Invoice

If @merchantbot supports inline mode, you can use inputInvoiceMessageContent to allow users to share invoices for your goods and services to their one-on-one chats with friends, or to their groups and channels. These invoices will have a Pay button that can be used multiple times.

Inline Invoice

2. Choose Forwarding Behavior

As of Payments 2.0 there are two ways for handling forwarded copies of your invoices, controlled by the parameter start_parameter in the sendInvoice method.

  • A. Multi-chat invoice. Forwarded copies show a Pay button, which multiple users can press and attempt to pay for the goods or services. Inline invoices are always multi-chat invoices.
  • B. Single-chat invoice. Invoice can only be paid from the chat to which it was sent, forwarded copies show a URL button with a deep link to the bot. The deep link can be used to generate a similar invoice in the chat with the bot, to show an error message, or for other purposes. More info on Deep Linking »

If a single-chat invoice is sent to the chat with @merchantbot, it can only be paid once. If a single-chat invoice is sent to any other chat, it can be paid many times by many users.

To get a better understanding of how this works, try toggling the “Pay from Forwards” parameter when creating invoices with our demo @ShopBot.

Regardless of whether or not the Pay button is available in an invoice, the merchant bot always has the power to decide whether or not to accept new payments for a particular invoice.

3. Tips (optional step)

If the max_tip_amount parameter is set to above 0, users can add a tip to their payment. You can use the parameter suggested_tip_amounts to suggest particular amounts that you feel will be relevant for the invoice.

Adding Tips

4. Shipping info and other details (optional step)

The user specifies shipping information or other info requested by the bot. This could be the user's full name, an email address, a phone number in international format, or a full postal address for delivery.

Shipping Info

5. Offer delivery options based on shipping address (optional step)

If a shipping address was requested and you included the parameter is_flexible, the Bot API will send an Update with a shipping_query field to the bot. The bot must respond using answerShippingQuery either with a list of possible delivery options and the relevant delivery prices, or with an error (for example, if delivery to the specified address is not possible).

Tip: It is recommended that the merchant bot confirms availability of the goods/services at this step – to let the user know in case they are no longer available. This is especially important if you are using multi-chat, inline or single-chat, multi-use invoices.

6. Select delivery option (optional step)

The user selects a delivery option from the list (the overall amount to be paid may change at this point) and proceeds to checkout.

Choose Delivery Option

7. Pre-Checkout

The user enters their payment information and presses the final pay button. At this moment the Bot API sends an Update with the field pre_checkout_query to the bot that contains all the available information about the order. Your bot must reply using answerPrecheckoutQuery within 10 seconds after receiving this update or the transaction is canceled.

The bot may return an error if it can't process the order for any reason. We highly recommend specifying a reason for failure to complete the order in human readable form (e.g. "Sorry, we're all out of rubber ducks! Would you be interested in a cast iron bear instead?"). Telegram will display this reason to the user.

Warning: As of Payments 2.0, it is critical to make sure your bot only accepts multiple payments when the order can be processed correctly. This is especially important if you are using multi-chat, inline or single-chat, multi-use invoices.

8. Checkout

In case the bot confirms the order, Telegram requests the payment provider to complete the transaction. If the payment information was entered correctly and the payment goes through, the API will send a receipt message of the type successful_payment from the user. Once your bot receives this message, it should proceed with delivering the goods or services purchased by the user.

If the invoice message was sent in the chat with @merchantbot, it becomes a Receipt in the UI for the user — they can open this receipt at any time and see all the details of the transaction:

Receipt

If the message was sent to any other chat, the Pay button remains and can be used again. It is up to the merchant bot whether to actually accept multiple payments.

Going Live

Once you've tested everything and confirmed that your payments implementation works, you're ready to switch to LIVE MODE. To do this, go to BotFather > /mybots > select @merchantbot > Bot Settings / Payments and enable Stripe LIVE MODE. You will get a token that has the string :LIVE: in the middle, e.g. 123:LIVE:XXXX. Do not give this token to any third parties!

Before your merchant bot goes into live mode, please ensure the following:

Live Checklist

  • We highly recommend turning on 2-step verification for the Telegram account that controls your bot.
  • You as the bot owner have full responsibility in case any conflicts or disputes arise. You must be prepared to correctly process disputes and chargebacks (in the case of Stripe, see here and here).
  • To prevent any misunderstandings and possible legal issues, make sure your bot can respond to a /terms command (or offers a similarly easy way of accessing your Terms and Conditions). Your Terms and Conditions should be written in a clear way and easy to understand for your users. The users must confirm that they have read and agree to your terms before they make the purchase.
  • Your bot must provide support for its customers, either by responding to a /support command or by some other clearly communicated means. Users must have a clear way of contacting you about their purchases and you must process their support requests in a timely fashion. You must notify your users that Telegram support or bot support will not able to help them with purchases made via your bot.
  • Make sure that your server hardware and software is stable. Use backups to make sure that you don't lose data about your users' payments.
  • Make sure that you have completed the live checklist for your selected payments provider as well as this one.

FAQ

How do I join as a payment provider?

If you work for a company that provides services similar to standalone accounts in Stripe Connect, please let us know via @BotSupport (kindly include the hashtag #paymentsprovider in your message).

How much do you charge?

Telegram does not charge any commission for using the Payments API. Note though, that most payment providers will have their own commissions. For example, Stripe in the US charges 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge (see the Stripe website for more details on pricing).

Do I need a bot to accept payments?

Yes. If you are not a developer, you will need to either hire someone to make a bot for you (recommended), or use a bot created by a third-party company. We advise extreme caution when using services of bots that process payments for you – Telegram doesn't maintain any such bots and doesn't endorse any of the third-party bots offering these services.

What can my bot sell?

Telegram does not impose any limits on what products or services your bot can offer. But please note that you must comply with the rules of the payments provider you choose in our system. E.g., Stripe has a special page for prohibited businesses – you may want to consult that one before you start selling harvested organs.

Special Note: Due to Apple's limitations, bot developers are currently not allowed to accept payments for digital goods and virtual services from iOS users.

How are disputes handled?

Telegram acts as a messenger between the paying user, the bot developer, and their chosen payment system. The user sends their credit card details directly to the payment system. Then the payment system's response and the shipping details entered by the user are passed to the bot developer so that they can process the order.

Since Telegram doesn‘t process the payments, we don’t store and can‘t access any sensitive data. Due to this structure, it is impossible for Telegram to handle complaints or cashbacks – any disputed payments are the responsibility of the bot developers, payment providers, and banks that participated in the exchange.

See also: Telegram Privacy Policy

How do I support payments in my third-party app that uses the Telegram API?

You are welcome to study the MTProto payment documentation.

Supported Currencies

Telegram payments currently support the currencies listed below (here's a JSON version in case you need it).

If you're using Stripe as the payments provider, supported currencies may vary depending on the country you have specified in your Stripe account (more info).

The minimum and maximum amounts for each of the currencies roughly correspond to the limit of US$ 1-10000. The amount must be expressed in 12 digits or less, so the maximum value will be correspondingly lower for some lower-value currencies. Note that for each currency except USD these limits depend on exchange rates and may change over time (plan ahead for this when you implement limits in your code).

Code Title Min amount Max amount
AED United Arab Emirates Dirham AED 3.67 AED 36,728.00
AFN Afghan Afghani AFN96.25 AFN962,525.60
ALL Albanian Lek 107,31ALL 1.073.176,35ALL
AMD Armenian Dram 491.78 AMD 4,917,852.55 AMD
ARS Argentine Peso ARS 101,36 ARS 1.013.646,98
AUD Australian Dollar AU$1.40 AU$14,020.92
AZN Azerbaijani Manat 1,70 AZN 17 018,36 AZN
BAM Bosnia & Herzegovina Convertible Mark 1,73 BAM 17.339,76 BAM
BDT Bangladeshi Taka BDT 85.60 BDT 856,096.32
BGN Bulgarian Lev 1,73 BGN 17 322,99 BGN
BND Brunei Dollar BND1,36 BND13.643,09
BOB Bolivian Boliviano BOB 6,88 BOB 68.822,10
BRL Brazilian Real R$ 5,61 R$ 56.130,13
CAD Canadian Dollar CA$1.26 CA$12,644.50
CHF Swiss Franc 0.92 CHF 9'236.15 CHF
CLP Chilean Peso CLP 839 CLP 8.399.797
CNY Chinese Renminbi Yuan CN¥6.35 CN¥63,553.02
COP Colombian Peso COP 3.910,98 COP 39.109.800,00
CRC Costa Rican Colón CRC631,97 CRC6.319.760,28
CZK Czech Koruna 22,55 CZK 225 509,73 CZK
DKK Danish Krone 6,58 DKK 65854,02 DKK
DOP Dominican Peso DOP56.50 DOP565,094.82
DZD Algerian Dinar DZD 139.21 DZD 1,392,189.82
EGP Egyptian Pound EGP 15.72 EGP 157,293.98
EUR Euro 0,88 € 8 856,05 €
GBP British Pound £0.75 £7,544.50
GEL Georgian Lari 3,09 GEL 30 949,95 GEL
GTQ Guatemalan Quetzal GTQ7.71 GTQ77,156.54
HKD Hong Kong Dollar HK$7.79 HK$77,974.50
HNL Honduran Lempira HNL 24.10 HNL 241,096.84
HRK Croatian Kuna 6,66 HRK 66.600,09 HRK
HUF Hungarian Forint 324,95 HUF 3 249 501,04 HUF
IDR Indonesian Rupiah IDR14.360,45 IDR143.604.500,00
ILS Israeli New Sheqel ₪ 3.11 ₪ 31,177.90
INR Indian Rupee ₹75.53 ₹755,390.18
ISK Icelandic Króna 130 ISK 1.303.501 ISK
JMD Jamaican Dollar JMD154.72 JMD1,547,213.14
JPY Japanese Yen ¥113 ¥1,134,265
KES Kenyan Shilling KES112.83 KES1,128,399.53
KGS Kyrgyzstani Som 84-79 KGS 847 971-01 KGS
KRW South Korean Won ₩1,176 ₩11,767,503
KZT Kazakhstani Tenge KZT436-40 KZT4 364 081-26
LBP Lebanese Pound LBP 1,509.30 LBP 15,093,001.40
LKR Sri Lankan Rupee LKR 202.35 LKR 2,023,581.04
MAD Moroccan Dirham MAD 9.21 MAD 92,186.02
MDL Moldovan Leu 17.59 MDL 175,909.18 MDL
MNT Mongolian Tögrög MNT2 858,21 MNT28 582 186,12
MUR Mauritian Rupee MUR43.38 MUR433,898.93
MVR Maldivian Rufiyaa 15.41 MVR 154,152.23 MVR
MXN Mexican Peso MX$21.00 MX$210,057.70
MYR Malaysian Ringgit MYR4.22 MYR42,280.02
MZN Mozambican Metical MZN63.82 MZN638,298.86
NGN Nigerian Naira NGN410.21 NGN4,102,101.15
NIO Nicaraguan Córdoba NIO 35.16 NIO 351,613.96
NOK Norwegian Krone NOK 8,99 NOK 89 901,15
NPR Nepalese Rupee NPR120.41 NPR1,204,127.77
NZD New Zealand Dollar NZ$1.47 NZ$14,729.45
PAB Panamanian Balboa PAB 0.99 PAB 9,980.94
PEN Peruvian Nuevo Sol PEN 4.07 PEN 40,780.71
PHP Philippine Peso PHP50.31 PHP503,149.71
PKR Pakistani Rupee PKR176.45 PKR1,764,551.93
PLN Polish Złoty 4,06 PLN 40 607,43 PLN
PYG Paraguayan Guaraní PYG 6.803 PYG 68.039.966
QAR Qatari Riyal QAR 3.64 QAR 36,410.28
RON Romanian Leu 4,38 RON 43.817,02 RON
RSD Serbian Dinar 104,12 RSD 1.041.249,76 RSD
RUB Russian Ruble 73,79 RUB 737 975,02 RUB
SAR Saudi Riyal SAR 3.75 SAR 37,515.39
SEK Swedish Krona 9,07 SEK 90.726,30 SEK
SGD Singapore Dollar SGD1.36 SGD13,645.30
THB Thai Baht ฿33.54 ฿335,404.94
TJS Tajikistani Somoni 11;26 TJS 112 690;52 TJS
TRY Turkish Lira 13,63 TRY 136.339,00 TRY
TTD Trinidad and Tobago Dollar TTD6.78 TTD67,841.37
TWD New Taiwan Dollar NT$27.74 NT$277,424.98
TZS Tanzanian Shilling TZS2,304.99 TZS23,049,997.17
UAH Ukrainian Hryvnia 27,27UAH 272 789,82UAH
UGX Ugandan Shilling UGX3,563 UGX35,634,171
USD United States Dollar $1.00 $10,000.00
UYU Uruguayan Peso UYU 44,08 UYU 440.829,90
UZS Uzbekistani Som 10 761,44 UZS 107 614 445,87 UZS
VND Vietnamese Đồng 22.950 ₫ 229.500.000 ₫
YER Yemeni Rial YER 250.24 YER 2,502,497.30
ZAR South African Rand ZAR 15.80 ZAR 158,091.80