June 3, 2023

Great Indian Mutiny

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Microsoft Teams now allows small businesses to charge for appointments, webinars, and more

Microsoft is launching a payments system within Microsoft Teams that allows small businesses to earn money from appointments, classes, one-on-one sessions, webinars, and more. Teams for business users in the US and Canada will now be able to collect payments during a meeting, opening up the service to financial advisors, attorneys, coaches, educators, and other small to medium-sized (SMB) businesses to collect payments for virtual meetings.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift in how services are delivered online, thanks in part to the pandemic and the growth and ease of use of virtual meetings. Brenna Robinson, General Manager, Microsoft 365 for Small and Medium Businesses, says in an interview with the edge. “I think a lot of small and medium businesses have pivoted now that they’re now more tech-savvy and not just corner stores.”

Microsoft is now taking advantage of this tech savviness and the demand from small businesses to introduce a new payments app within Teams. It is designed to allow companies to host webinars or one-on-one sessions and accept payments for them. Microsoft has partnered with GoDaddy, PayPal, and Stripe to make this possible, and it’s free for Teams business users.

You can track who paid for the meeting within the Payments app.
Image: Microsoft

Whereas before you may have met your accountant in person or taken classes in person, Teams is making it easier than ever for small businesses to do so virtually. “I’m not sure I’ll ever meet my accountant in person again,” says Robinson. “I think we’ve learned that maybe we don’t need to be face to face with all of these things.”

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The Microsoft Teams payments app can keep track of money received or anything pending during a meeting, and there are options for customers to pay at any time during a meeting. Stripe and PayPal integration are both available today as part of a public preview, with a GoDaddy push coming soon.

The Payments app creates an order within Microsoft Teams meetings.
Image: Microsoft

With webinar support and a large number of attendees, there is a lot of potential for small businesses to use this system for online classes, private networking events, and more. And for smaller one-on-one sessions, I can imagine a future subscriptions option here so you can easily sign up for a class and pay through Teams. “Right now, there’s more than once,” Robinson explains. “I think we’re interested in this space… I would say this is the first step for a lot of thinking about how small and medium businesses interact with their customers.”