Since launching in the US in 2015, the feature has remained exclusive to the country, but now Facebook Messenger users in the UK can send money to friends without leaving a conversation.
Sharing Money Is Social
According to Facebook’s research, the top reasons users gave for wanting to send money included celebrations, social events and festive occasions, and it’s these moments that Facebook want to make easier.
Their research also showed that ‘it’s not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so’, and users often use GIFs and emoji when sending money as a form of expression – so Facebook have added an animation of falling Pounds when money is sent.
To send money via Messenger:
- Start a message with a friend
- Tap the blue + icon and then tap the green Payments icon
- Set up your payment account (only the first time) and then enter the amount you want to send
- Tap Pay and then add your debit card
- Watch the amount of money you sent rain down on the screen
To receive money:
- Open the conversation from your friend
- Tap Add Card in the message, add your debit card and setup your payment account to accept money for the first time
With the shift to a cashless society growing closer every day, it’s becoming necessary to have a quick and easy way of transferring money. We already have a mobile payment system in the UK - Paym - but the sender needs to their bank’s mobile app and the recipient has to register their mobile phone number with their current account. That’s a lot of effort for someone who’s never used the service before and wants to pay back a fiver.
Messenger Payments on the other hand, only requires both users to register their card details – a far simpler process.
Faster and easier payments are great, but with Facebook’s main business model built around serving adverts to its users, is their motivation for adding Payments to Messenger truly as altruistic as they say, or are they just adding another data point to add to the info they collect?