Facebook Messenger is about to take on Venmo: you can now send payments through the app.
The app now features a small ‘$’ sign above the the keyboard which will lead you to a payments interface. Just enter the amount you want to send and tap pay to send money.
You’ll be prompted to enter a debit card number (Mastercard or Visa) if you haven’t already, and on iOS devices you can use TouchID to secure your payments. Alternatively, you can just use a PIN.
Money is briefly held by Facebook, according to Recode, after which it’s transferred to the respective friend’s bank account. If your friend doesn’t have a bank account linked, it’s simply held until he or she adds one.
Facebook says it keeps a team of anti-fraud specialists monitoring accounts for suspicious purchases.
For Facebook, the move makes sense as a way to keep users using its products. Despite Messenger Vice President David Marcus saying there were “no immediate plans to integrate payments into the platform” as recently as late January (quite the strict definition of immediate, huh), the addition helps eliminate friction for users by allowing friends to exchange payments without ever leaving Messenger.
Facebook says the new feature will be rolling out to Android, iOS and the Web over the coming months in the US – no word on availability in other countries yet.