2 years after it was launched in the US, Facebook Messenger Pay has finally crossed the Atlantic. Now it’s possible to make a P2P transaction across the platform in both France and the UK, simply by tapping the blue plus icon to the left of the chat bar, and choosing the green cash icon.
Facebook said in a blog post that it is “not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so”, and said that this is backed up by research they have conducted on Messenger, which you can see in the infographic below.
Facebook asked users in the US and France when they wished they could send to others “in the moment”, and discovered that the top reasons included celebrations, social events and festive occasions. The research also showed that 1 in 10 people felt that not being paid back would negatively a relationship with somebody, and 71% do not feel comfortable reminding others when payment is overdue.
The social media giant says that in the US, where the payments service has been live since 2015, the majority of people use Messenger to make payments of less than $50 at a time, but that the service has become “part of everyday life for many”.
Payments in Messenger will be available across Britain and France in the coming weeks; Facebook describes it as “fast, free and secure”; payments may take up to three business days, however, depending on the sender and recipient’s banks.
All debit card payments details are encrypted using bank level security, anti-fraud squads monitor all payments, and unauthorised activity is investigated as part of the service, although Facebook also advises that “if you see unauthorised charges, you have recourse with your bank”. All payments are also regulated.
Facebook is introducing a special emoji graphic of pounds or euros falling from the skies each time a payment is made, and rolling out a service called M suggestions – a “helpful assistant in messenger, powered by Artificial Intelligence” that monitors conversations to see if financial assistance i.e. making payments will be requested, and steps in with recommendations – could be pesky, but a great way to encourage take-up of the service.
M doesn’t just talk finance either, but can recommend Spotify music, recipes, Take-out food and more.
There is a quick explainer video to accompany the launch – the first time somebody uses the service they are obliged to sign up to the payments service and provide a debit card, where the payments are subsequently taken from.
M will join other bots from the likes of Mastercard, TransferWise, Western Union and American Express on the Facebook Messenger platform.