Facebook has added a new feature to its Messenger service that gives users a secure way to send or receive money between friends.
The free payments feature will roll out over the coming months in the U.S. over iOS, Android and desktop, the company said Tuesday.
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 information 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.
Facebook said the money you send is transferred right away, although it might take one to three business days for the money to become available depending on your bank, just as it does with other deposits.
The Menlo Park, Calif., company emphasized that it has a secure network, noting that it has been a "dependable and trusted payments processor for game players and advertisers since 2007." The company processes more than 1 million transactions daily on the site and also handles all the payments processed on Messenger.
Facebook said it uses secure systems that encrypt the connection between users and Facebook as well as stored card information.
"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.