April 13, 2017
Facebook on Tuesday unveiled a new feature of its P2P payments service within Facebook Messenger. Facebook has enabled P2P payments from one user to another since 2015, but the online chat service now enables groups to send and receive money. According to the social media giant, the process is the same for groups as it is for single P2P senders and receivers. Users create or join an existing group conversation, tap the plus sign at the bottom left of the screen, tap the dollar-sign icon on the next screen and choose from among several options. Currently, the service is available to Android and desktop users only.
“You can choose everyone in the group or only a few members,” said Partha Sundaram, Facebook’s product manager for consumer payments, in a post on the company’s blog. “Enter the amount you want to request per person or the total sum to divide evenly, either including yourself in the calculation or not. Finally, you can specify what the money is for—maybe a pizza party, teacher gift or more.”
Facebook will be offering the service to its users for free. The Messenger platform, like the rest of Facebook, will lean on advertising as its revenue source. Payments via messaging apps—notably WeChat in China—are becoming increasingly popular.