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Facebook Gearing Up To Launch Messenger Payments Service

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Images of upcoming service using Facebook’s instant messaging service revealed by hacker on Twitter

Facebook is preparing to launch a peer-to-peer payments system, which will allow users to send each other money using the site’s Messenger app.

Screenshots of the new service in action (pictured below) were revealed on Twitter over the weekend by Stanford University computer science student Andrew Aude, who used app exploration tool Cycript to access the development code inside Facebook’s iOS app.

According to his findings, users will apparently be able to send money through Messenger in a similar way to how they would currently send photos or files. Payment can be completed using either the existing bank details a user already has registered with Facebook (e.g. for use with in-site games or apps), or a separate debit or credit card, with an in-app PIN service provided added security.

facebook-paymentsPay for play

There’s no news on when the service will become available, or if Facebook plans to monetise the service, which it could do by charging a handling fee for each transaction.

The launch of a payments service would be the first significant activity from the Messenger app’s new head, David Marcus, who was previously president of PayPal before being poached by Facebook earlier this year.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year that the site was planning to introduce a payments service through Messenger, which hit 200 million active users earlier this year, stating on the company’s Q2 earnings call that “over time there will be some overlap between (Messenger) and payments”.

“The payments piece will be a part of what will help drive the overall success and help people share with each other and interact with businesses,” Zuckerberg added, although he was keen to stress that there was a “lot of groundwork” to do in producing the service.

The launch of a Facebook payments service would be the latest in a series of moves into new markets by the social network, which reported a 138 percent rise in profits earlier this year.

Last week, it was reported that the company is looking to launch a range of healthcare services, setting up a dedicated research and development unit to test new health apps as well as developing online “support communities” to bring together Facebook users suffering from certain illnesses or ailments.

The site also reportedly has a team investigating “preventative care” applications that would help people improve their lifestyles, similar to many current activity tracking services.

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