Facebook has announced a new feature in Messenger that allows users to send money to their friends. The move comes after the social media company poached the president of PayPal, David Marcus.
The project to send money has been rumored for a while now, and it allows users to tie their debit cards to their Facebook account to enable money sharing.
"Today we're adding a new feature in Messenger that gives people a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money between friends. This feature will be rolling out over the coming months in the U.S.," said Facebook in a blog post.
In order to send money, users simply need to press on a small "$" icon, in the same place that they would go to in order to send stickers.
Because of the sheer size of Facebook, it is likely that the company will make big waves in the peer-to-peer payment industry, which is growing.
Facebook is not, however, the only company to offer these types of peer-to-peer payments. WeChat, for example, which is largely considered to be the Facebook of China, already allows millions of users to send instant payments via a chat service. The technology is only just starting to appear in the U.S., where systems such as PayPal, which tend to run over email instead, are more popular.
Facebook Messenger is one of Facebook's largest services, especially since the company stopped allowing users to send messages through the standard Facebook app last year. Not only that, but Facebook also purchased popular mobile messaging service WhatsApp last year for a massive $2 billion. WhatsApp now serves around 700 million active users around the world.
The new feature will be rolled out to Messenger users over the next few months, so it's unlikely that many users will have the feature right away. Because of the fact that it uses debit cards, Facebook is able to move funds from one bank account to another pretty quickly, without having to charge users.
The company is not new to money. Facebook makes most of its money through advertising; it essentially handles money transfers from advertisers and businesses on a regular basis.
"A dependable and trusted payments processor for game players and advertisers since 2007, Facebook processes more than one million transactions daily on the site and also handles all the payments processed on Messenger," continued Facebook in its post. "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."