Facebook Messenger now allows users to transfer cash

By | March 18, 2015

For all those who hate logging on to your bank websites, figuring out the way to enter details and transfer cash, you have some good news. You can do the same ie., transfer funds over Facebook messenger to other Facebook users.


Of late Facebook, the giant social network, has been doing things that are more for a social networking site like adding product description and rates for items in the business page and now adding to it, is the transfer money through messenger feature. It announced this feature on Tuesday that American Facebook user accounts can link their debit card details to their account and transfer funds to another.

The Messenger app now has a small ‘$’ sign which opens the payment box where the users can enter the amount to be transferred to the other person. According to Facebook product manager Steve Davis, the money transferred through Facebook is held by the same for few seconds before completing the transfer to the other person. For the transfer to complete, the recipient should have his card attached to his account. This means of messaging money is as simple as sending a smiley or snapshot.

Given the size and the reach of the Facebook, the introduction of the payments feature is most likely to create shiver among the competing peer-to-peer payment companies like Venmo, Square and even Snapchat, which unveiled Snapcash (a pay-through-text-service in November). But unlike Snapchat which works with Square to transfer actual funds, Facebook has its in-house system entirely built by them. This means Facebook apart from listening to our conversations, will now house our bank details too.

The company has stored bank data for years already when people pay for games or gifts over the website. So this new feature will only make it more convenient and easy to transfer funds. Reports suggest Facebook is likely to expand to commerce later and this is its first step to get more debit cards on file. It has partnered with Stripe and is already testing on the ‘Buy’ button in its pages.

The messenger payments and transfer do come with some safety measures. A user PIN or Touch ID, if the user is on iPhone. No payment can be sent without the PIN, which the user creates when he sets up the account. Thumbprint scan can also be used for the same. But its up to the user to opt for it or opt out of it, but is a must during the registration, David says.

The whole process is quick and hardly take few seconds for the transaction to complete. Best part is, Facebook does not charge any amount for the transactions between two accounts. The company claims that it does intend to do it to generate revenue.

The feature will first be available for the US users and then be gradually introduced to the users around the globe.

Wall Street has been anticipating such a news ever since Facebook hired the president of PayPal, David Marcus, to lead its messaging efforts. Introducing of such transfers may just be the start to take Facebook to a whole new level. Only time can what the new plans would be, for all we can assume it would definitely be big.