You can now do much more than chat, like, share and add friends on Facebook. This past Tuesday, Facebook announced that it was introducing a feature in Messenger that would enable users send and receive money. The initial roll-out will be in the United States. And it's going to be free.
The first time that you send or receive money on Messenger, you will need to link a Visa or MasterCard issued by a US Bank to your Facebook account. After adding the debit card, you can then create a PIN to enhance security on your account. If you are using an iOS device you can also enable Touch ID, and like other secure platforms, you can also have additional authentication on your account.
Sending and Receiving Money
To send money:
- Start a message with a friend
- Tap the $ icon and enter the amount you want to send
- Tap Pay in the top right and add your debit card to send money
To receive money:
- Open the conversation from your friend
- Tap Add Card in the message and add your debit card to accept money for the first time.
The transfer of money is instant though depending on your bank it may take 1-3 business days for the money to reflect on the account. The new payments feature is rolling out in the coming months in the US across Android, iOS, and desktop.
Facebook has been processing payments for game players and advertisers since 2007. The social networking giant processes over one million transactions each day, including some that are done via Messenger. Facebook’s payment systems are secured in an environment that is separate from the rest of the Facebook network and are subject to further monitoring and control.
It will be interesting to see what further developments will emerge from this. Will Facebook add Bitcoin as a currency option? Or will the company launch its proprietary virtual currency? CCN has sought answers to these questions from the Facebook Press Office and is awaiting a response.