Facebook announced the ability to send money between friends using Facebook Messenger a few months ago, but unless you lived in one of a few select cities it wasn’t actually possible at the time. Now, the service is expanding into New York City, and adding a few extra features as well.
To send someone money over Facebook Messenger, just open a conversation and tap the dollar symbol. Then you can link your debit card and decide how much to send. Facebook says it only has access to your money for a few seconds while it’s transferred between banks. Your friend can’t accept a payment until he or she links up his or her bank account.
Payments were originally limited to one-on-one conversations, but now you can send money to a specific friend from inside a group chat. Each payment also shows up as a bubble in your Messenger conversation. Tapping on it will send the money.
Facebook previously said the service would be available across the U.S. within the first few months, so we’re guessing the company plans to expand pretty quickly moving forward. With growing competition from Venmo, PayPal and even Snapchat, Facebook will need to move fast if it wants to carve out a decent chunk of the mobile payments market.