Having trialled the Facebook Messenger payment service, Facebook announced that
the payment feature is now available for Facebook Messenger users in the US.
Now you can make person-to-person payments by adding your debit card through Facebook Messenger in just a few taps. The money goes straight from your checking account to the recipient’s checking account, said Facebook’s head of messaging products David Marcus in a status post. The Facebook Messenger app is required to use the payments service.
After adding your debit card information, you can send a payment to a Facebook Messenger friend by tapping on the “$” icon within a conversation. Then you have to type in the amount you want to send to your friend and confirm the payment. The recipient accepts payment by opening up the message from their friend and confirming. The payment may take a few days to clear depending on the bank that you use.
The reason why debit cards are the only form of payment available through Facebook Messenger right now is because it minimizes fraud and helps avoid extra fees, according to Mashable. For example, mobile payment service Venmo charges a 3% fee on each transaction for using a credit card.
Facebook Messenger started to roll out the payment feature on a city-by-city basis in March. Facebook offered the payment feature in New York City and its surrounding areas first. About a month ago, Facebook Messenger added the ability to pay within group chats. And Facebook Messenger started to allow non-Facebook users to join the chatting service last week.
The payment feature is useful if you want to pay back a friend that covered your movie tickets, concert tickets, hotel costs, etc. Most of my friends still seem to prefer PayPal or Chase QuickPay, but it is definitely beneficial to have multiple options. It is unknown when the payment feature in Facebook Messenger will expand to other countries.