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.
@ShopBot ... in any chat for an inline invoice.
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.
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 following payment providers:
We continue expanding this list, follow @BotNews for updates.
This section explores payments via Telegram's Bot API in more detail.
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.
/mybots command in the chat with BotFather and choose the
@merchantbot that will be offering goods or services.
You will find the necessary methods for building your payment implementation in the Payments Section of the Bot API Manual.
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.
See Bot API: Payments for the complete list of available methods and objects.
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:
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:
@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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The user selects a delivery option from the list (the overall amount to be paid may change at this point) and proceeds to 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.
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:
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
You are welcome to study the MTProto payment documentation.
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).
|United Arab Emirates Dirham
|17 039,70 AZN
|Bosnia & Herzegovina Convertible Mark
|18 072,10 BGN
|32 732,55 BYN
|Chinese Renminbi Yuan
|Costa Rican Colón
|234 281,04 CZK
|9 230,50 €
|26 503,91 GEL
|Hong Kong Dollar
|3 595 303,88 HUF
|Israeli New Sheqel
|894 303-85 KGS
|South Korean Won
|KZT4 511 071-90
|Sri Lankan Rupee
|MNT34 063 271,73
|NOK 106 005,05
|New Zealand Dollar
|Peruvian Nuevo Sol
|39 792,31 PLN
|977 077,89 RUB
|109 522;07 TJS
|Trinidad and Tobago Dollar
|New Taiwan Dollar
|United States Dollar
|12 537,50 UZS
|125 375 036,22 UZS
|South African Rand