Facebook Messenger beats Apple and WhatsApp with this clever new payment feature


M is a virtual assistant in Messenger, powered by artificial intelligence, and will recognise when you and a friend are discussing payments and gives an option to easily receive or send money. Red envelopes are traditionally used for gift-giving during holidays like Chinese New Year, but the payment service could be applied to any P2P payments. We've heard that people often want better ways to express themselves when sending money, like adding accompanying text, emoticons, pictures and GIFs; of course Messenger is the best place to do many of these things, so we hope we're bringing even more functionality to the art of conversation.

So you'll be able to link when you sent over money to the relevant conversation with that person and also avoid the embarassment of having to chase them up for money if they owe you. He says of the development: "What we're trying to do is add utility to Messenger". Converting just a small percentage of this base into users of P-to-P payments could be highly lucrative, particularly if the social network can enable cross-border remittance capabilities. On the first payment, you will need to enter your bank information (Visa and Mastercard are supported) and the amount to be paid (the largest payment can be up to £2,500, though there's a rolling 30-day limit of £10,000).

According to Facebook, money will be transferred right away but may take few days to reflect in the account of the receiver.

Note: If the friend hasn't set the system up, they'll be asked to enter their card details to get the payment.

That said, most of these issues can be overcome by Facebook's sheer scale.

Is Facebook Messenger payments secure?

It's already available in the US. Now, they're set to roll out in the United Kingdom "over the coming weeks", the company has said in a press release.

Anything else you should know?