Facebook has announced the launch of a new feature built into Messenger that’ll allow friends to send and receive money between themselves without any extra charges.
The social network says the feature will be rolled out across the US in the coming months, but didn’t specify when it could be launched in different geographies.
In order to transfer funds to a friend, all users have to do is hit the ‘$’ button within a chat and enter the amount. Hitting the ‘Pay’ button then prompts users to add their card details.
Once the message is sent, the receiver has to open the chat and add their debit card detials for the first time to accept the money. Both sending and receiving funds is done free of charge.
Facebook unveiled its own payment gateway back in 2007 for users to pay for games and advertisers. The company claims its solution handles 1 million payments daily, and will now also handle fund transfers through Messenger.
The payments system makes use of encrypted connections between itself and users, and also encrypts a user’s card details when they choose for Facebook to store it.
“These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control,” said the company in a blog post.
Using the new feature for the first time, users will have to add details of their Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by a US bank. Doing so users can create a 4-digit pin, or in the case of iOS devices users will also be able to authenticate payments through TouchID.
The payments feature within Messenger is being rolled out for iOS, Android and desktops across the US.