Facebook Messenger will soon incorporate a payments feature that will allow app users to send money to each other for free. The feature will become available to Android, iOS and desktop users in the U.S. in the next few months.
To use the service, users have to link their Visa or MasterCard debit card to their Messenger account and then simply tap on the dollar sign in the chat box to send their friends money. Users can also add a PIN code or Touch ID for an extra layer of protection while making the money transfers. Facebook adds that it has no plans to monetize the service right now.
Facebook is putting a lot of emphasis on the security it built into this system and adds that it is avoiding credit cards to cut down on fraud and fees. "We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you."
Facebook had been hinting about the service for a while now. The internet giant had hired David Marcus, former president of PayPal as the new head of Messenger. Images of the new feature were leaked last year in October, which revealed a new person-to-person payment interface.
The feature will help Facebook keep up with other social apps that let friends exchange funds including messaging service SnapChat. Last November, Snapchat introduced a new feature called Snapcash that lets users 18 years or older to send money to anyone using the app free of charge. Mobile-payments company Square also have the ability to send money to others for free over email with a debit card.