Facebook brings P2P payments to Messenger

Facebook brings P2P payments to Messenger

American Facebook users will soon be able to send money to each other through the social network giant's Messenger app.

To send money through the free new feature, users start a message with a friend, tap a '$' icon, enter an amount, and then hit the pay button. The first time a payment is made, people are prompted to add their Visa or MasterCard debit card details. For subsequent payments, users have the option of creating a PIN. To receive money sent to them, recipients open the conversation and tap 'Add Card' in the message and - the first time - add their debit card.



The feature is being rolled out in the US over the coming months cross Android, iOS and desktop.

Rather than working with a partner, Facebook is handling all of the payments itself, stressing that it is a "dependable and trusted payments processor" since 2007. Security is a "top priority" and the firm uses secure systems that encrypt the connection between users and Facebook as well as the card information.

Although Mark Zuckerberg recently played down Facebook's payments ambitions, the reach of the new service - Messenger has around 500 million users - will see it challenge the likes of Venmo, the popular P2P payments service owned by PayPal. Former PayPal boss David Marcus joined Facebook last summer to run the mobile messaging business.

Other social networks are also moving into the P2P payments space. Snapchat has teamed up with Square to enable users to send each other money through the photo sharing app, while Twitter has dipped its toes through a partnership with French bank BPCE.

Comments: (8)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 March, 2015, 20:551 like 1 like

I wonder what the adoption will be? We already saw how quickly Apply pay took off. I can imagine that the old use case of the college kid, phoning home to ask dad to send money will be forever changed by this new Facebook capability.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 17 March, 2015, 22:491 like 1 like

I guess we should welcome a new Disrupter in banking area with a potential user base of half a billion!  As it is a P2P based system, rather than shopping (unlike Apple Pay),  FB may focus on an area where PayPal operates. Other than Penetration, if FB will manage to create some motives for the user then it would be the breaking point to become a success story. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2015, 05:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

How will it fare in comparison to Square's Cash app?

John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne 18 March, 2015, 05:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I can only imagine that using Payments to Friends on Messenger is going to be a useful alternative of the normal procedure of paying anyone through your bank's website or mobile app. The estimate of 500 million people is a huge, untapped potential payments market that Facebook will utilise. Make no mistake about that. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2015, 05:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think a good question to ask, is how will Facebook do in comparison to Square, and Paypal who are both actively used and promoted to send payments easily and quickly between friends and relatives.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2015, 09:35Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It has begun...

Kevin Moseri
Kevin Moseri - PayCenter GmbH - Freising 18 March, 2015, 10:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The value proposition sounds great (considering the potential user base), but the technical aspects when it comes to cross border processing might turn out to be a challenge. Additionally, if it follows the Apple Pay trend, which is starting to see higher than normal card provisioning fraud, card issuers might think twice before signing up, if it requires additional costly security parameter implementation.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 18 March, 2015, 13:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It seems likely to make Facebook the world's largest on line brothel.

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