If you’d remember, Facebook had recently given messenger platform, the ability to handle person-to-person payments. The company is now taking everything it van to push users to use the same. And in that context, allow us to introduce the Send or Request Money feature.
Facebook introduced peer to peer payments only last year. With the newest addition however, users looking to manage payments will be sent directly over to the messenger — or to the App Store to download Messenger, if it’s not already installed.
Meanwhile, considering that peer to peer money transfer feature is available only for the US public, the Send or request money feature is available for users from the country as well. However, considering that we can expect Facebook eventually launch the feature globally, the send and receive feature is a welcome global addition.
In case you are wondering, users can connect their payment card to Facebook — Yup, thats old news — and can tap a button in Messenger to send their friends money. Whats even better is the fact that Facebook charges nil payment fees — unlike paypal and the like — thus putting it a cut above the rest.
Considering that Facebook messenger is on the verge of reaching a billion users, the company has a vast, very vast pool of potential customers. And enhancing the capabilities — by adding stuff like sending or receiving money — ensures that the prospects of using messenger over alternate services, are even more attractive.
In case you are wondering about why you haven’t seen the payments option before, Facebook has placed it under the “more options” under the main menu. This isn’t because Facebook doesnt want you to see it, but only because the interface is already full of stuff like add stickers, photos, GIFs and the like.
So yeah, Facebook has the option of transacting money through the messenger. The only reason you are unaware of the fact is because Facebook doesnt appear ready to move into payments quite yet. And there is a twist as well.
Facebook isn’t moving into payments because of establishing itself as a payments provider, or because of only that reason. Nope. More importantly, Facebook is doing so to increase its reach and user engagement capabilities. Considering that online transactions are forming a more important part of the virtual environment by the day, increasing payments will eventually equate to increasing engagement.
So yes, Facebook is all poised and ready to move into the payments business. However, it undoubtedly has its own strategic reasons for not actually moving into it — After all, how many are really aware of the integrated payment feature packed into the messenger. Its probably only a matter of time though before the company finally decides to move full time into the payments niche.