November 9, 2017
Facebook, which rolled out P2P online payments to its U.S. users in 2015, has made the service available in the U.K. and France. P2P payments incorporated in social media apps have gained wide popularity with younger users through platforms like We Chat in China and Venmo in the U.S. Facebook hopes to tap its large user base in Europe to gain a competitive advantage there, although indications are that Apple, which is in the midst of rolling out P2P through iMessage, is close behind in making that service available in Europe. The Facebook service will enable users to send money to other users within their own countries, not cross-border, the company said in its announcement.
Transfers settle in one to three business days, according to the company. And, Facebook made sure to stress security features when it unveiled the program:
“[W]hen it comes to payments, we take extra steps for your protection: all debit card credentials are encrypted and protected with bank-level security, our world-class anti-fraud specialists monitor payments, and in the rare case that we find unauthorized activity on your account, we’ll work with you to secure your account again,” facebook said in a blog post announcing the service. “Plus, since payments in Messenger use debit cards, as with any other debit card payment, if you see unauthorized charges, you have recourse with your bank. Finally, Messenger payments are offered as a regulated payment service, meaning they’re directly subject to consumer protection requirements.”