Facebook announced Tuesday a new feature to its Messenger app that allows people to send or receive money between friends. The free feature will roll out over the coming months in the United States across Android, iOS, and desktop.
To send money, a user starts a message with a friend, taps the $ icon and enters the amount they wish to send, and taps “Pay” and add their debit card to send money. To receive funds, a user opens the conversation from the sender and taps “Add Card” in the message and adds their debit card to accept money for the first time.
Facebook said the money a user sends is transferred right away. It might take one to three business days for the money to be available to a user depending on their bank.
Facebook said it processes more than one million transactions a day on its site and also handles all the payments processed on Messenger.
“Incorporating security best practices into our payments business has always been a top priority,” said Facebook. “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. These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe.”
The company said the first time a user sends or receives money through Messenger, they will need to add a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by an American bank to their account. Once that card is added, the user can create a PIN to provide additional security the next time they send funds. On iOS devices, users can also enable Touch ID. Facebook said users can also add an additional layer of authentication to their account at any time.