Sending and receiving money will now be as easy as opening Facebook Messenger and chatting friends. PayPal users in the United States can now make peer-to-peer payments over Facebook Messenger, the company announced Friday, Oct. 20.
This collaboration between Facebook and PayPal isn't a surprise. The two companies have been experimenting with payments over Messenger for quite some time, and the official rollout merely comes as a culmination of that partnership. This integration also brings PayPal's first customer service bot to the messaging platform, which enables the company to field queries and requests from users.
"We're excited today to announce an expansion of our relationship with Facebook with the addition of PayPal as a funding source for peer-to-peer (P2P) payments, right in Messenger," PayPal said in a blog post. The feature is rolling out beginning Oct. 20.
This is huge. PayPal says 2.5 million accounts have already linked their account with Messenger, and it's easy to imagine for that number to grow with the rollout.
How To Send And Receive Money Using PayPal On Messenger
Sending money to friends is easy. In a thread with a person or a group, simply tap the blue "+" button, and select the green "Payments" button to either send or request money. From there, users can choose PayPal as the source when making a payment to a friend.
TechCrunch speculates because of the system's ease of use, Facebook's buy-and-sell and marketplace community will likely turn it into its de facto payment method, which is good news for both PayPal and Facebook, since that'll definitely increase the number of people who are going to take advantage of the feature. For some perspective, the site's local sales groups are visited by around 450 million users a month, according to data Facebook revealed last year.
It's not the first time for PayPal to be integrated within a service, as Apple's Siri already supports making payments via voice commands on iOS, with transactions activated via Touch ID, if available.
PayPal didn't say whether it plans on bringing peer-to-peer payments to other messaging platforms going forward, but this news, as PayPal COO Bill Ready puts it, is part of a "broader movement where we're meeting the user in whatever context they're in."
PayPal Customer Service Bot
Besides payments, PayPal is also rolling out its first customer-oriented bot on Messenger, which will enable users to chat with a virtual customer service assistant for any problem they might have, such as forgetting their password, asking about how transactions works, and others.