Facebook is giving its 500 million Messenger users the ability to send money to each other. Snapchat, Venmo, Square Pay and others all offer similar services. Let's see if the facebook brand can drive more transactions than the competition?
Once users link a Visa or Mastercard debit card to their Messenger account, they can send their friends money by tapping a dollar sign in the chat box. Facebook said the feature will become available to U.S. users in the coming months. The service will be free, and Facebook said it has no plans to monetize it as this time. The feature isn’t exactly a surprise. Last summer, PayPal chief David Marcus joined Facebook to become vice president of messaging products. A few months later, technology blog TechCrunch posted what it reported were hacked screenshots of a payments feature within Facebook Messenger. Facebook has processed payments on its larger main site for years, but it doesn’t let users send money to each other. The company’s WhatsApp messenger app, with more than 700 million users, also doesn’t have a payments feature.