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Outlook to Soon Let You Pay Bills, Invoices Without Leaving the App

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Microsoft Build 2018, the annual developer conference from the tech giant, is underway, and, one of the crucial announcements to arrive from the event is the addition of payments to the prime email service Outlook.

With the growing addition of payments feature in almost all the apps or Web services we use, it appears to be a wise decision for Microsoft to add the new feature to Outlook as it seeks to compete with Google’s Gmail. The company made the announcement in a blog post following Day 1 of Build 2018.

The new payments feature will essentially allow you to make payments for all the bills or invoices you receive in your Outlook inbox, without having to leave the email service. Microsoft is developing a framework that will use Microsoft Pay to handle bill and invoice payments directly inside Outlook, and the framework is said to be fast and secure.

“Businesses that send bills or invoice notifications to customers over email can now embed a payment action within Outlook.To get started working with payments in Outlook, please review our documentation,” the company said in the blog post. It also clarified, “Note that Outlook is not a bill payment service and Microsoft is not acting as a bill pay agent.”

To start, supported payment processing partners for Microsoft Pay in Outlook.com include Stripe and Braintree, billing services include Zuora, and invoicing services include FreshBooks, Intuit, Invoice2Go, Sage, Wave, and Xero. The company said it is also working to include Fiserv.

In its blog, Microsoft said it will introduce the feature in phases with select Outlook.com users in the next few weeks, followed by a wider rollout in the coming months.