You can do much more than chat through Facebook Messenger—including sending payments to and requesting funds from friends who owe you money. If you spend a lot of time in Messenger, it may be a convenient option to send and receive money online.
The feature, peer-to-peer payments, has been available to Facebook Messenger users in the US since 2015. It essentially allows you to send and receive money from Facebook friends via messenger and without having to exit a conversation thread.
What is a Facebook Messenger payment?
Have you ever gone somewhere with a friend and been in the position of forgetting your wallet, leaving your friend to pay for your coffee, drink, meal, or whatever? Or maybe you’ve taken a cab with a friend and had to split the fare with cash. There is an endless number of situations you might find yourself in, where you need to quickly send money to a friend or maybe even receive money from said friend.
You could use a peer-to-peer payments service to send that friend money, which is handy if you never have cash on you.
One advantage of using Facebook Messenger to send and receive payments is that you can easily split the cost of something with several people. For example, if a group discussion led up to an event, you can split a payment between members of that discussion.
Before using the service for payments, you may want to become familiar with the basic requirements:
- You can only make payment with a U.S. bank-issued Visa or MasterCard debit card, or a PayPal account.
- You must be 18 years and above to use the service.
- You can send money to trusted friends and family.
- You and your friend both must live in the U.S.
How does a Facebook Messenger payment work?
Sending and receiving money with Facebook is as easy as sending a private message.
Via the Messenger App or the Facebook Website
Start a conversation with the friend that you want to pay. Tap or click on the “$” icon and enter the amount you want to send. Hit “Next,” and the money is on its way. If you don’t see that icon, then you should contact Facebook Support.
Your First Payment
To use Messenger payments the first time, you need to provide funding information. It’s easiest to submit this information as you go through the process of making a payment. But you can also add or change funding methods by updating your payment settings.
Add your debit card. In the Messenger app for Android, tap the Profile icon, then scroll down and tap Payments. In the iOS app, tap Settings, then Payments. Tap Add New Debit Card and complete that process. If you’re using a phone, you also have the opportunity to set up a personal identification number (PIN) during this step. This helps prevent unauthorized payments. Choose a code that is hard to guess and that nobody else knows.
Because Messenger uses your debit card, the money will come out of your checking account almost immediately.
Make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to avoid overdraft charges, bounced checks, and other problems before you make a payment with Facebook Messenger.
How to Receive Money
If somebody sends you money through Messenger, you’ll get a notification. If your debit card or PayPal account are already linked, then Messenger will send the money right away.
Note: If the friend hasn’t set the system up, they’ll be asked to enter their card details to make the payment.
Provide Your Account Info
If you don’t already have debit card information on file, you need to provide card details to accept the payment. Once that’s done, funds will go to the checking account linked to your debit card.
Facebook does not hold onto the money, but your bank might take several days to show the payment in your account.
Are Facebook Messenger payments free?
Yes. There’s no cost to use the service.
Are Facebook Messenger Payments Safe?
Facebook said the system is encrypted. Also, a pin can be enabled to allow money to be sent.
It also takes care to store your financial information separately from your account data. However, as with any transaction where the money is involved, you should take steps to protect yourself from fraud and other problems.
You can’t cancel Messenger payments, although recipients can voluntarily reject them if you make a mistake. Plus, the money comes out of your account immediately.
Privacy cannot be ignored. If everything is already on Facebook and you’re not concerned about that, a bit of your financial information might not matter. But data can be mined and analyzed in surprising ways, so be mindful of how you send and receive money. When you make a Messenger payment, your name, profile photo, and payment amount are shared with your friend and stored in Facebook’s servers. In group payment situations, all group members can see payment amounts—so pay one-to-one if that matters.