Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has joined the realms of peer-to-peer payment processing as the company has announced the imminent launch of a new feature in its Messenger application that gives people a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends.
This feature will be rolling out over the coming months in the United States, placing the social media giant in direct competition with several specialist payment firms which include PayPal, as well as some of the peer-to-peer technology providers which have focused on the sending and receiving of Bitcoin via mobile platforms recently, many of which have been the subject of vast venture capital investments.
In order to utilize the new feature, ergonomics are clearly a priority as Facebook states that money can be sent via the messenger using just three steps, and received in just two steps, as follows:
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 money being sent is transferred immediately, however Facebook states that it may take one to three business days to make the money available to the recipient depending on which bank the recipient uses, just as it does with other deposits.
A dependable and trusted payments processor for game players and advertisers since 2007, Facebook claims that it processes more than one million transactions daily on the site and also handles all the payments processed on Messenger.
Incorporating security best practices into the firm’s payments business has always been a top priority. The firm uses secure systems that encrypt the connection between users and Facebook as well as card information when customers ask Facebook to store it on their behalf. Facebook reinforces user confidence by using layers of software and hardware protection as well as systems which monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe.
The first time a customer wishes to send or receive money in Messenger, they will need to add a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by a US bank to your account. Once a card has been added, a PIN can be created by the user provide additional security the next time the user sends money. On iOS devices, Touch ID can be enabled, and users can add another layer of authentication to their account at any time.
The new payments feature is rolling out in the coming months in the US across Android, iOS, and desktop.
For the official announcement from Facebook, click here.