THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has launched a feature that will allow its users to send money to friends via Facebook Messenger, no doubt in a bid to rival Snapchat.
Facebook Pay, which will debut in the US in the 'coming weeks', works in a similar way to Snapchat's Snapcash service.
To send money, start a conversation with a friend, tap the dollar sign followed by how much cash you're looking to send, and then hit 'Pay' and add your debit card details.
To receive money, which is perhaps the more appealing option of the two, open the conversation with your friend, hit Add Card in the message, and add your debit card.
"The money you send is transferred right away," Facebook notes. "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."
The new Facebook service has, unsurprisingly, raised a few eyebrows, with some noting privacy concerns could prove a barrier to the service's success.
Kevin Dallas, CMO at WorldPay, said: "Social networks are an integral part of our lives, so it’s no surprise that they want to play a role in our finances.
"Many people, however, still have concerns about security online, with identity fraud that uses data cribbed from social networks rife. Until these fears are put to bed, this will be a big barrier to the wholesale adoption of this technology."
"Incorporating security best practices into our payments business has always been a top priority.
"We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you. We use layers of software and hardware protection that meet the highest industry standards.
"These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control.
"A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe."
Mark James, security expert at ESET, seems to agree with Facebook's remarks, telling The INQUIRER that it appears the firm has invested heavily in keeping users' payment details safe.
"The financial structure already in place for Facebook to handle transactions has been around for a while. If you already have your payment details in place with Facebook then it will just use those details, if not, then you will need to add a debit card to get started.
"I am sure security will be their number one priority, it would appear that currently the goal is to offer a free-of-charge service with the intention of keeping you fully embedded into the Facebook ethos and if it means saving some money then it could be a good thing.
"Digital payment methods are increasing and as long as security keeps up it will benefit us all, although Facebook is a big target and I am sure one that will be looked at very closely once this goes live. However, in turn, Facebook will invest heavily in this security in an attempt to keep our data safe.”
Facebook Pay will be available via iOS, Android and desktop in the US over the next few weeks. No details about a UK launch have been released yet. Those using the service on an iPhone will be able to enable TouchID support for added peace of mind. µ
Much a (dil)do about nothing
Neither the time nor the face
The tiny tweaks are coming thick and fast now
Gitting more secure