Facebook pilots digital payments on Messenger app in the US

Facebook has introduced a payments system to its Messenger app to allow friends and family to transfer money to each other.

During a conversation with the desired cash recipient on the app, users need only tap the ‘$’ button, add a payment card and pass the security tests to transfer a sum money.

The social network will in the coming months enable Visa or MasterCard debit card owners to register their cards with the website select a security pin. Furthermore iOS devices can have enabled the fingerprint scanner additional security.

Facebook has warned that credit may take one to three business days to transfer depending on the users’ banks however.

On the security of the system, a Facebook statement read: “Incorporating security practices into our payments business has always been a top priority. We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you.

“We use layers of software and hardware protection that meet the highest industry standards. These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control.”

Kevin Dallas, chief marketing officer of Worldpay eCommerce, told The Drum: "Social networks are an integral part of our lives, so it’s no surprise that they want to play a role in our finances.

"Many people however still have concerns about security online with identity fraud rife using data cribbed from social networks and, until these fears are put to bed, this will be a big barrier for the wholesale adoption of this technology.”

The integration of digital payments to the chat app follows in the footsteps of photo-messaging app Snapchat which in November introduced Snapcash, a similar service, allowing users to send cash to each other.

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