Facebook Messenger Payments - Send and Receive Money
Send and Receive Money - Not Just Messages
Need another way to pay friends, family, and acquaintances? If the recipient is a friend on Facebook, you can use Facebook's Messenger app to send funds electronically.
Messenger payments are not exactly unique – there are plenty of ways to send money – but you might enjoy the convenience if you spend a lot of time using Messenger. What's more, it doesn't cost anything to make payments using your debit card.
The service is rolling out gradually, first available for users on Android, iOS, and desktops. Initially, you'll need a bank account in the United States, but Facebook plans to expand the service globally.
How to Make a Payment
Sending money with Facebook is about as easy as sending a message. In Messenger, start a conversation with a friend that you want to pay (you need to be friends). Find the "$" icon above your keyboard, tap it, and enter the amount you want to send. Hit "Pay," and the money is on its way.
For your first payment, you might need to provide funding information. Enter your debit card number and any other required information to get set up. During this step, you also have the opportunity to set up a personal identification number (PIN), which helps prevent unauthorized payments. Choose a code that is hard to guess and that nobody else knows.
Because Messenger uses your debit card, money will come out of your checking account almost immediately.
If somebody sends you a payment, you'll get a notification. If you don't already have debit card information on file, you'll need to set up a card to accept the payment. Once that's done, funds will go to the checking account linked to your debit card.
Facebook does not hold onto the money, but your bank might take a few days to show the payment in your account.
Is it Safe?
Payments through Messenger are probably as safe as any other app or online service. Facebook hired David Marcus, the former head of PayPal, in advance of offering Messenger payments (so you would expect industry-standard security). Facebook claims that all payment information is encrypted, including your card number and details about your transaction. That data is stored "separate from other parts of the Facebook network," and Facebook has dedicated additional resources to watch for fraud.
To protect yourself, be sure to use a PIN (or Touch ID if available on your device). You have the option to opt-out of that additional step, but why take the chance?
There’s also the issue of privacy. If everything is already on Facebook and you’re not concerned about that, a bit of your financial information might not matter. But data can be mined and analyzed in surprising ways, so be mindful of how you send and receive money.