Facebook Messenger users across the US can now send and receive money between groups of people in a Messenger conversation by selecting the payments icon and then choosing who to send or request money from using a list of conversation participants.
The move follows the launch of Suggestions by M earlier this month — an artificial intelligence-based feature that detects when a payment is being discussed in a conversation on Facebook Messenger and responds by prompting the user to complete a payment on the platform.
“Simply tap on the plus sign in the bottom left hand corner of a group conversation to find more features, and tap the payments icon,” the social media giant says. “Then, choose who to send or request money from. You can choose everyone in the group or only a few members.
“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 — once you’re ready, tap Request.”
A video gives an overview of the group payments feature:
“To make it super simple to keep track of everything, a message will appear in the group conversation showing who has paid,” Facebook adds. “At any time, you can also view the Request Details in full-screen. Coordinating group payments has never been easier.
“As always in Messenger, you don’t need to remember a password, your debit card information is safe and secure and the service is totally free. Messenger group payments is available in the US for now.”
Facebook added P2P payments to its Messenger platform in 2015. The company introduced a payments update to the platform in November 2016 that was designed to allow US businesses who are not integrated with Stripe or PayPal to process payments within both messages and webview using tokenization.
Facebook is not intending to make money from its payments business, according to the company’s David Marcus, the former president of PayPal. “We’re not going to take cuts of payments,” Marcus told Recode. “The only thing we traditionally do, and is a decent business for us, is advertising. So we’ll continue focusing on that.”