Microsoft has revealed plans to facilitate payment of bills or invoices directly from the inbox of the Outlook e-mail.

The new Payments in Outlook will be powered by Microsoft Pay and is expected to eliminate the need for switching to another app or service to pay for bills that are received over the mail.

This will be made possible when businesses that send such bills or invoice notifications integrate a payment action within Outlook.

Initially, the service will be supported by payment processors such as Stripe and Braintree.

Billing services, including Zuora, and invoicing services such as FreshBooks, Intuit, Invoice2Go, Sage, Wave and Xero will also participate. Microsoft further noted that it intends to collaborate with Fiserv.

In its blog post, Microsoft said: “We will soon be introducing payments in Outlook to help users to pay bills or invoices, right in email, without needing to switch to another app or service.

“Note that Outlook is not a bill payment service and Microsoft is not acting as a bill pay agent.”

The new service is set to be launched in phases, with plans to roll out for a limited number of customers over the coming weeks, followed by further expansion.