Facebook has just unveiled a new feature for Facebook Messenger that allows users to rely on the app for payment activities. With the new feature, users can easily connect their debit card and send money to friends with just a tap of a button sporting the dollar icon.
The new feature can be accessed on iOS, Android and desktop.
The new payment feature is similar to other existing services offered by Venmo, Square and SnapChat, where users can readily swap money with other people regardless of their location. Now that Facebook is about to launch its own type of payment service, people already using the app can start sending and receiving cash from their fellow Facebook members.
"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," says Facebook.
Users shouldn't worry about security since the app would allow them to create a PIN or have their Touch ID enabled if they are accessing it through an iPhone. Analysts are saying that if Facebook's new payment system is successful, it could pave the way for other types of payment exchanges such as those between a private Facebook user and a product advertiser.
"Facebook could use this as a back door to get people's debit cards to enable the buy button," said Internet analyst Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
According to Steve Davis, Facebook's product manager who was behind the project, the new payment service is Facebook's way of making the process as simple as possible.
"We know that conversations about money are happening all the time," said Davis. "But most conversations begin in one place and end in another place."
Facebook's Messenger app is now considered one of the biggest platforms on a global scale. Currently, there are over 500 million people who use the app every month. Facebook became a stronger and larger company in 2014, when it acquired WhatsApp for almost $22 billion. Used as a separate messaging platform, WhatsApp has over 700 million active users around the globe.
"We're not building a payments business here," adds Davis. "The goal is to offer P2P payments for free to make Messenger more useful, expressive and delightful."