Facebook on Tuesday announced it has updated its Messenger app with a new feature which will let users send and receive money through the app itself.
The new payments feature will allow messaging app users to connect their Visa or Mastercard debit card and send money by tapping the “$” button.
In order to send money, Messenger users will need to tap a new “$” icon that will show up next to the buttons that enables users to send photos, stickers or a thumbs up sign. Then, enter the amount they wish to send, tap “pay” on the top right corner and enter their debit card number.
Users receiving the money will be required to enter their debit card number to accept money for the first time. Facebook will continue to hold the money until the recipient attaches a card to his or her account.
They will also have the option to create a PIN or enable Touch ID on their iPhone to add a level of security to the payments.
“We’re not building a payments business here” but the goal is to offer p2p payments for free to make Messenger “more useful, expressive and delightful,” Facebook’s product manager Steve Davis said.
The social network’s new payment service is similar to Snapchat’s ‘Snapcash’ service launched last November. The Snapcash service allows Snapchat users to link their debit cards to their account and send money to a contact by starting a chat on a smartphone.
The free feature will roll out over the next few months for users in the United States and will be accessible on the desktop Android and iOS devices.