The Facebook Messenger app on iOS and Android has introduced a payments system, allowing users to transfer money to friends on the network.
The Silicon Valley company will compete with payments providers such as PayPal and Square, and potentially large banks, after it announced that users will be able to upload a Visa or MasterCard debit card to their Messenger app to send payments to their Facebook friends for free.
Sending a friend a payment can be done by tapping the “$” icon located on top of the keyboard, which is also where stickers are accessed and photos are inserted. After tapping the icon, enter the amount to send, tap “Pay” in the top right corner of the app, and add a debit card (Visa or MasterCard) to make the payment. Receiving money can be done by opening the conversation from the friend who sent the money and adding a debit card to accept the money. Funds are transferred immediately when sent through the app, but it can take one to three business days for the money to be made available.
Facebook uses layers of software and hardware protection that meet the highest industry standards. These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe.
The payment feature could help Facebook dominate mobile app messaging.