In mid-March 2015 Facebook launched a new feature in Messenger that allows money transfer between users. The service allows for a simple and straightforward way to send and receive money, and it's free.

Both the sender and the receiver should have either a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued in the U.S. to send or receive money via Facebook Messenger.

Here is how to send and receive money via Facebook Messenger.

Sending Money

  1. Users will have to add a debit card to send money to others. Go to the Messenger app for Android and tap the Profile icon. Then locate and tap on Payments. For the iOS app, tap Settings and then Payments. You then need to add a new debit card and complete that process.
  2. After adding an eligible debit card, send a message to the person to whom you want to send money.
  3. Tap the "$" icon and enter the amount you want to send.
  4. Then tap "Pay" located on the top right and add your debit card to send money.

Receiving money

  1. Open the conversation that contains the money.
  2. Then tap on "Add Card" in the conversation and add your debit card to receive money.

The money is transferred to the receiver immediately, but it can take up to three business days for the money to get in the receiver's bank.

Many customers may have questions about the security aspect of sending and receiving money via Facebook Messenger, but the social media company says that the service offers PIN-based security.

"Incorporating security best practices into our payments business has always been a top priority. We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you. We use layers of software and hardware protection that meet the highest industry standards," says Facebook.

The company says that the payment system is held within a protected environment, which is separate from other parts of the social media network. Facebook also suggests that a group of anti-fraud experts monitor suspicious purchases for keeping customer transactions and accounts safe.

Payment via Facebook Messenger is currently available only in the U.S., but the company plans to roll the service in other parts of the world. It remains to be seen how fast the service gains traction in the market.

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