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article imageFacebook expands payments on Messenger across the entire U.S.

By James Walker     Jul 1, 2015 in Technology
Everybody in the United States can now send and receive payments using Facebook Messenger after a large expansion made the feature mainstream. Users of the app can transfer funds with their friends quickly using just a compatible debit card.
The company announced the rollout yesterday in a Facebook post. Previously, the service was only available in a trial form in select areas of the U.S. but is now available to all of its American users.
The only prerequisite seems to be a Visa or Mastercard debit card. Beyond that, sending money to your friends is as simple as a few taps in the Messenger app. Facebook engineer David Marcus explains that "money goes straight from your checking account to your recipient's checking account."
Money is sent by pulling up the payment menu in the Messenger app. You can then type in the desired amount before sending the transaction as you would a normal message. The recipient can then accept the payment by tapping the message.
Only debit cards are accepted so that the risk of fraud is lower. It also means that there are no transaction fees, making the service free to users. Despite the ease and zero cost, there is one caveat to sending payments over Messenger: like ordinary bank transfers, transactions may take up to three business days to complete.
Facebook Messenger now has over 700 million worldwide users and is its own distinct platform, separate from the core Facebook site. The Messenger app now supports its own apps running within it which has helped to facilitate the recent new feature additions such as video calling and the payments functionality.
The service aims to rival more time-consuming money transfer services such as PayPal. As CNET notes, there are other companies with peer-to-peer payment platforms though, including Snapchat and Square's "Snapcash."
More about Facebook, Messenger, Payments, Transfer, Transaction
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