Facebook Messenger the New Paypal?

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If you already have problems with the Facebook messenger app, then they just gave you another reason to avoid it, but if you have been sitting on the fence about it then maybe this will tip you over.

Facebook Instant messenger will now be able to transfer money.

The new tool will roll out in the U.S. over the next few months for desktop computers, Google and Apple mobile platforms.

Actually those of us who noticed last summer when Facebook hired former Paypal president David Marcus were wondering when they would start doing something like this. This moves lets Facebook keep up with the other relative newcomers to social media such as Venmo, Square, and Snapchat who already let friends exchange funds.

Money can be sent or received by adding a debit or credit card to their accounts and creating a personal ID number. Facebook also tells us that there are additional authentication procedures that can enhance security. At this point there are no plans for transaction fees, which leads me to believe that they want to get people hooked on using their payment system before they start charging you for it.

To send money:

  1. Start a message with a friend
  2. Tap the $ icon and enter the amount you want to send
  3. Tap Pay in the top right and add your debit card to send money

To receive money:

  1. Open the conversation from your friend
  2. Tap Add Card in the message and add your debit card to accept money for the first time

The money you send is transferred right away. It may take one to three business days to make the money available to you depending on your bank, just as it does with other deposits.

You can also be guaranteed that this is just one tiny step towards turning Facebook into an e-commerce site. How long before we start seeing ‘Buy It Now’ buttons on the side of our screen, or find our stream inundated with more advertising? Soon Facebook will be the social version of Amazon.

I wonder at the security of it though? With all the hacked accounts I already see on Facebook how safe is our credit card information going to be?