Lola J. King
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You Can Now Send Money Over Facebook Messenger

Paying your friend back for the coffee they spotted you for is now easier than ever. Joining the race of mobile peer-to-peer payments, Facebook has introduced a new and efficient way to send money to your friends at no cost. Unveiling the feature today, users can hit a “$” icon in Messenger, type in the amount to transfer and it will be sent right away, appearing in your bank account in a few days. But of course, with money transfer technology comes security worries, but Facebook has put a great amount of emphasis on making sure the system is safe. Secure systems encrypt the connection between the user and Facebook, as well as card information when its stored. Users have the option of adding another layer of protection with a PIN code or Touch ID. In addition to that, Facebook is rolling out new teams for in-house security, with payment systems kept in a secured environment separate from the rest of the Facebook network for heightened protection.

The first time users try out the function, they will need a MasterCard or Visa debit card issued from a US bank. So far, it hasn’t been announced whether the service will include credit cards (Facebook has decided to omit the service for now, to eschew fraud threats and fees) or when it will expand internationally. For Facebook, the move is unsurprising as it allows them to collect millions of users’ payment information and streamline the paying process when Facebook introduces possible e-commerce ventures. The service will be rolling out on iOS, Android and desktops in the coming months.