Simple person-to-person payments have been available through Facebook Messenger since 2015, but were limited to transfers from one user to another. Now, with group conversations becoming increasingly popular, Facebook has announced that Messenger will support peer-to-peer payments split across multiple parties.
As of April 11, 2017, Messenger users located in the US can send and receive money amongst groups on their Android and desktop devices. The functionality is implemented as another built-in messenger feature and is accessed directly through the chat interface.
Selecting the feature in an existing group chat allows the initiating user to choose group members to request payment from or pay money to by inputting a sum to divide evenly or an amount per person. Users can then specify what the payment is for. Completed payments are tracked through inline notifications and, so far, the only payment method involves syncing your debit card with Messenger.
As users increasingly turn to services like Venmo and PayPal to send payments directly to each other, it’s no surprise to see similar services pop up. Messenger’s dominant presence in user’s current mobile habits may see them become competitive within the peer-to-peer payments space quicker than some rivals, especially when iOS compatibility rolls out. Read the full release at the Facebook Newsroom.