Facebook users will soon be able to transfer money to friends across the Android, iOS, and desktop versions of the Facebook Messenger app.
To send funds, a user will first need to set up their debit card by tapping the Payments option in the settings menu, and then adding a new debit card. Once a card has been set up, an icon will appear at the bottom of each conversation alongside the camera and ‘like’ icons to allow users to transfer funds.
To receive funds, a user will need to open a conversation and tap “add card” if they haven’t previously added a debit card to their account.
Initially, the feature will only be rolled out across the US, and only support Visa or MasterCard debit cards, while credit cards, prepaid debit cards and PayPal will not be supported.
While the debit card limitations mean the system will have limited utility for small business users, the service could be extended in the future. Rival BlackBerry is already offering its BBM Money mobile wallet service as part of its BBM mobile messaging app in selected markets.
In its statement announcing the new feature, Facebook said it has been a payments provider for game players and advertisers since 2007, processing a million transactions a day.