Facebook planning money transfer service via messenger
A computer science student has discovered a payments feature hidden in Facebook Messenger’s source code
Facebook is preparing to launch a new money transfer service that will allow users to attach cash payments to their messages in the same way thay they typically attach a photo, it has emerged.
Stanford computer science student Andrew Aude discovered the feature hidden in Facebook Messenger’s source code, with the help of iOS app exploration developer tool Cycript.
Posting his discovery on Twitter on Saturday, Aude suggested it would allow Facebook Messenger users to make payments in the same way users of the Square Cash app send money via their mobile phone.
Twitter: Andrew Aude – @Facebook Messenger has P2P payments coming. @SquareCash style. http://t.co/3NuXuuaMMC
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The app can use any card details that are already registered with Facebook for payments, or users can add a separate debit card. They can also set up an in-app pincode for added security.
It is not known whether Facebook will attempt to monetise Messenger by charging a small fee for money transfers, or offer the functionality for free to drive usage of its standalone chat app.
In an interview with TechCrunch , Aude speculated that “based on my understanding of the debit interchange rates, each transaction will cost Facebook roughly $0.40 to $0.50 (Durbin swipe fee + ACH fee)”.
However, he added that the app does not mention a fee to send, so it will probably be free – to begin with at least. “Over time they might add a $1 fee,” he said.
The news comes after Facebook hired David Marcus , formerly the president of PayPal, to run Facebook’s messaging products earlier this year.
As vice-president of messaging products, Marcus oversees the Messenger service within Facebook’s social network as well as the free Messenger mobile app.
Roughly 12bn messages are sent every day on Facebook, and the Messenger app has more than 200m users, according to the company.
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