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.