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Facebook Messenger adds payment feature to take on Venmo

by Brandon Russell | March 17, 2015March 17, 2015 7:00 pm PDT

messenger-payments

By this rate, you’ll never run out of ways to pay your friends. That’s either good or bad depending on your financial situation.

Joining the likes of Snapchat’s SnapCash, Facebook on Tuesday introduced a new feature to its Messenger app that allows users to tie their debit card to their Facebook account. Facebook said it realized a lot of its Messenger users often had to seek out other competitors to finish their conversations. So rather than allowing services like Venmo or SquareCash to get traffic, Facebook decided to add a payment feature to its own app. Because why not?

It sounds pretty straightforward: Just open up the payments screen and specify the amount you want to send. Facebook apparently only holds the money for “seconds” before the recipient’s bank gets it. If no card is attached to the recipient’s account, Facebook will simply hold the funds until something is set up.

For security, a PIN is required; iPhone users can also use Touch ID. But otherwise, no PIN, no payment. Users will apparently have the flexibility not to require a PIN before a payment is sent off, too. No transaction fee is charged by Facebook for sending money back and forth; just think of the added feature as a perk for using the social network’s Messenger app.

According to Facebook, the new feature is set to roll out across the U.S. for iOS and Android in the coming months, with other markets around the globe to follow.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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