Advertisement

Facebook introduces payments feature for its messenger app

This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.
This Tuesday, July 16, 2013 file photo shows a sign at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook reports quarterly earnings on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. AP Photo/Ben Margot, File

NEW YORK  — Facebook’s Messenger app will soon let you send your friends money, the latest in a crowded field of services aimed at an increasingly wireless and cashless generation.

Services including PayPal, its Venmo unit and the disappearing-photo app Snapchat let you beam money to friends and family using smartphones linked to bank accounts or credit cards.

Facebook’s entry, announced Tuesday, is free, works with debit cards and is available on Apple and Android mobile devices and on desktop computers.

READ MORE: Millennials consuming news from a variety of sources, survey shows

The world’s largest social network will process the payments and emphasized the service’s security features.

Facebook will likely expand internationally after the service becomes available to U.S. users over the coming months.

Story continues below advertisement

To send money, Messenger users can tap a new “$” icon that’s next to the buttons that let you send photos, stickers or a thumbs up sign. Then, enter the amount you want to send, tap “pay” on the top right corner and enter your debit card number. To receive money for the first time, enter the card number.

READ MORE: Facebook clarifies rules about what you can and can’t post: What you need to know

Once you add your card number, you can create a pin code that you will need to enter the next time you want to send money. On Apple devices that have Touch ID, you can enable this instead and authorize transactions using your fingerprint.

To help allay concerns about security, Facebook noted that it handles more than a million payments transactions on its site every day for its advertisers and game players.

Its payments systems are stored separately from other parts of the Facebook network and receive additional monitoring and control, the company said in a blog post Tuesday.