Not only can Facebook users message their friends directly using the Facebook Messenger app, but now they have the ability to pay each other too. The thinking behind this new feature is to use for personal transactions rather than for retail purchases, which seems to be the main focus from many of the other tech giants such as Apple and Samsung. Steve Davis, Facebook’s product manager, stated its main purpose: “Really explicitly this is not for commercial transactions. This is again for casual payments between friends.” With its product, Facebook is more in competition with newer rivals like Snapchat, PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash.
How the payment system works is quite simple. In the Messenger app, choose a friend to message and there will be a dollar sign visible on the media tray at the bottom of the screen. Once that is clicked on, the amount to be paid is typed in. Hit send and then the amount is taken out of the designated card that was added by the user in the setup process. There will be an option to use a PIN number before payments can be made and if the app is being used on a newer iPhone, the fingerprint sensor can be used for the same security purposes. For now, the only cards that work with the app are Visa or Mastercard debit cards that were issued by a U.S. bank; credit cards will not work. In order for the recipient to access the money he or she must have a viable card synced to Messenger.