Following Snapchat’s recent step into mobile payments, Facebook has followed suit. Facebook has annoucned that it will be adding the feature to its Messenger app, allowing people to send payments directly to contacts. The feature is to be initally trialled in the US and will be available within both Android and iOS Messenger apps as well as through the desktop site.
With Google Wallet trying to take a B2B approach to peer-to-peer payments, Snapchat, Twitter and Apple Pay all debuted payment options last year for the consumer market. Facebook’s interest in a payments feature has been no secret since they hired David Marcus, in June 2014, the then president of eBay’s payments subsidiary PayPal, to be the social network’s vice president of messaging products.
Users will have to register their debit card to send or receive payments through the Messenger app. Once downloaded and set up, they will be able to tap a dollar icon within a conversation, enter the desired amount of money they want to send. Similarly, to receive money, they must add their card details to accept money for the first time.
numero believe that this could pose certain disadvantages, as consumers will be faced with revealing their bank details. Some may have issues with security concerns as Facebook has faced privacy and security problems in the past. Facebook have stressed the security features which will surround the application, providing additional security by creating a dedicated pin or using Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint-security feature on iOS devices.
Facebook stated, “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. 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.”
For years, tech companies have promised that, in the future consumers will be buying everything via their smart device. Due to the poor adoption of existing solutions such as Google Wallet, Softcard and the introduction of the smartwatch, numero believe there are still initial limitations to overcome. There needs to be a huge shift in consumer acceptance before it is adopted as a mainstream secure payment solution.