Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has announced that it would allow payments through its Messenger service, used for sending messages, emoticons and photos. The feature will be welcomed among the younger generation, though the huge collection of payment data can pose a security risk. According to the reports, Facebook is also planning to launch a big update to its Messenger app, which will allow third-party app integrations as well.
The company had hired former PayPal President David Marcus to run the Messenger division, in a move to generate revenue from its assets. The feature will have a simple interface with a dollar sign at the bottom. Users can tap the button to enter the amount and a pin number can be added for added security. A debit card will be required for the free payment service.
“The service is meant for sending money between friends,” said Facebook.
The move marks that the company is increasingly moving towards e-commerce market and might include one-click purchases in the future. However the company mentioned that the features cannot be used by businesses. Marketing is set to get a boost as the social-networking site is set to store huge payment data.
The new feature is similar to apps like PayPal’s Venmo, Square Cash and SnapCash that allows people to pay directly without using physical cash. Last year, Facebook was criticized for forcing users to download the messenger app and this was the primary reason for the move.
Facebook already handles millions of transactions by means of advertisements and games and the latest feature will require a strong security for handling data. Security will become the top priority for the site as hackers are likely to target the site. The feature will not work with credit cards and will be available in the US. The transferred money will take up to three months to show up in the account. Messenger for iOS and Android is expected to receive an update in a few months.[ Source ]