Selling on social media just got easier. Although there is still no direct way to run an online store and process transactions on Facebook, the social network will begin to let users send money using Messenger.
Facebook announced that it will be rolling out Messenger payments to U.S. users over the next few months. The new feature lets people conveniently and securely send money over the Messenger mobile app in a fast and simple way.
The best part about Messenger payments is that it's easy and absolutely free. But here's the catch — the service is designed for sending money between friends. This limitation doesn't make it ideal for large-volume online sellers, but it's a great option for those who are just starting out with e-commerce and don't mind having their customers as Facebook friends. [Facebook for Business: Everything You Need to Know]
Messenger payments works a lot like Snapchat's mobile payments service Snapcash. Here's how:
- To send money, just open the Messenger app and start a message. Tap the $ icon, followed by the dollar amount. Click on the Pay button on the top right and enter your payment information. Note that the service only works with Visa or MasterCard debit cards issued by a U.S. bank.
- To receive money, just open the message. The money is transferred to your bank via your debit card, which you'll have to set up the first time you receive a payment. Facebook says payments are transferred instantly, but may take up to three business days to show up on your account, depending on your bank.
Facebook reassures users that sending and receiving money via Messenger is safe and secure. First, it uses the same end-to-end encryption and security best practices as it does processing payments for advertisers, game players and other services. The company has also implemented various layers of industry-standard security on hardware and software, as well as a team of fraud-monitoring specialists.
Additionally, users can protect their own accounts and debit card information by setting up a PIN for future transactions and enabling Touch ID on iOS devices.
Messenger payments will soon be available on iOS, Android and desktop devices.