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Facebook to make mobile payments service available outside US

08 November 2017, 12:40 | Francis Delgado

Facebook makes fintech move with UK launch of p2p payments via Messenger feature

Facebook Red envelope feature

The person to person service first launched in the U.S. back in 2015 and is popular among users for splitting restaurant bills, paying babysitters, or just sending money to friends.

Some people may be cautious about allowing Facebook to further ensconce itself in their daily lives, as many already believe the company has a monopoly on a vast range of online interactions we all carry out on a regular basis, but others may view it as a handy and convenient tool.

"'With P2P [peer-to-peer] payments, this paves the path to us enabling small and large businesses to accept payments inside of Messenger", said David Marcus, who leads Facebook's Messenger team.

You're also required to register a debit card to receive money using the app. Facebook has been keen to stress that all details and transactions will be encrypted and that every payment will require a PIN to stop fraud.

Messenger is introducing peer-to-peer payments in the United Kingdom, offering a convenient and secure way to send and receive money in Messenger threads, making it fast to send money to friends without leaving a conversation.

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The money you send is transferred right away.

Before this change was introduced you could only send £250 ($328) at a time to friends in the same country as you, but Facebook hopes that people can eventually use the feature to pay businesses too.

Have you ever gone somewhere with a friend and been in the position of forgetting your wallet, leaving your friend to pay for your coffee, drink, meal, or whatever? The functionality of Facebook Messenger P-to-P does not cross borders - a U.K. Messenger user can not send funds to a French recipient and vice versa.

To receive money, you need to open a chat with your friend, tap the Add Card option, add your debit card and set up your payment account.

Because the service is not a direct bank-to-bank offering, it is not part of the Faster Payment scheme, which could mean 1-3 days wait before money is in the recipient's account - though, we're assured it is not "simply resting in Facebook's account", Father Ted style. Square has a similar product called Square Cash, and PayPal's Venmo has been a popular choice for younger users in particular.



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