Facebook Messenger screenshots hint at P2P payments

Facebook Messenger screenshots hint at P2P payments

Facebook has built a feature that could soon let friends send money to each other through Messenger, screenshots posted by a Stanford University student suggest.

Speculation has been rife that Facebook would seek to monitise its Messenger app - which is used by 200 million people a month - through payments ever since former PayPal president David Marcus was poached to run the business during the summer.

Using iOS app exploration developer tool Cycript, Stanford computer science student Andrew Aude has now discovered what looks to be a P2P payments feature within the app.

Screenshots suggest that users will be able to add a debit card to Messenger and send money in the same way they send photos, pressing a button to begin the process, adding the amount and hitting send.

Aude told TechCrunch that the feature only appears to work with debit cards and that there is no PayPal option. It also only allows one person to send money to one person but a note in the code says: "Multiple payment attachments will be supported in the future."

The move sees Facebook tap the massive popularity of the Messenger app to take on the likes of PayPal, Venmo and Square Cash in the P2P market. It could also help the social network build up a base of users with card details on file for its new "buy" button.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 07 October, 2014, 07:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Nice move on Messenger, Facebook! In Australia, all Eftpos cards that are bank owned will function like a contactless card without a Visa or MasterCard logo on it. Australia's banks own the Eftpos system and they have spent $50 million on a new centralised hub or processing centre, which has taken two years to complete. Contactless cards have had an excellent take-up of use in Australia and this is a project that the banks have undertaken in order to capture some of this contactless market for card fees from credit card companies and PayPal. Eftpos cards that have the RFID chip in it will be available before Christmas, and will have access to the internet and mobile phone by the middle of next year. The list of banks that are already connected are Bendigo & Adelaide bank, ING Direct, Suncorp bank, and Strategic Payment Services. ANZ will follow later in the year along with the other major banks. The supermarket giants in Australia, Coles and Woolworths will join in 2015. According to ANZ's general manager of deposits and mortgages, Mr. Brad Gravell, the new hub 'will help deliver industry leading functionality and security with processing Eftpos transactions.' All aspects and issues connected to payments have been elevated to board level in all major banks. The strategy that is increasingly used is based on trying to serve all customers with better digital and payment experiences.