Facebook Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it was adding a digital money transfer feature to its Messenger app. The feature will allow Facebook users to send money to another user over Messenger like they would a photo.
Facebook said in a blog post it will roll out the Messenger money transfer service free of charge to its users in the “coming months," as it joins a growing number of large tech companies releasing digital payment services. The news comes more than five months after a Stanford student revealed hidden code inside of the social network’s Messenger app for iPhone that disclosed its plans.
Facebook says that users will open Messenger, select another user and then click on a dollar sign, and can then enter a dollar amount to transfer the money. The company says the fund transfer occurs instantly, but could take one to three days to appear in some bank accounts. Facebook also touted its security as up to the “highest industry standards,” and says transfers will be monitored by a dedicated anti-fraud team.
“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,” the company said in a blog post. “These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and receive additional monitoring and control.”
Messenger users can also secure the money transfer feature with a PIN or the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint system. The feature can not be tied to a credit card, but requires users to connect a Mastercard or Visa debit card, which Facebook claims will cut down on fraudulent charges and high fees.
Facebook Messenger claims more than 500 million users logging in every month. The company says the payment service will arrive on iOS devices, Android and Facebook’s website before the year’s end.