Two months ago Facebook announced that it would be jumping on the mobile payments bandwagon of combining your smartphone and your wallet with Facebook Messenger. The mobile payment space is a popular niche and a testament to consumers’ growing desires to move money around online and pay for goods with the click of a button. Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and now Facebook Messenger are among the many companies that are stepping into this space.
Facebook announced Wednesday that the Messenger payment feature will go live in the Big Apple, as Facebook rolls out its mobile payment program to New York City and its surrounding areas. The deployment of this program has been somewhat sluggish, and no doubt Facebook is making sure to get it right before expanding too aggressively.
The Messenger app will attempt to fuse the mobile payment features seamlessly with the actual messaging function. The goal being that when you message a friend “the movie ticket was $10,” it will appear as, “the movie ticket was $10” with the dollar amount hyperlinked for easy payment to the initiating party.
The payment system has also been optimized for use in group chats on the desktop browser version of Facebook. Users can individually select to pay certain members of a group chat, though the rest of the group will be able to see who paid whom and how much. So if you’re looking to stealthily pay someone back, make sure to do it outside of the group chat.
Facebook Messenger payments are currently available in NYC, Austin, Seattle, and Portland. The rollout of the Facebook’s mobile payments has been slow, but total integration into the Facebook experience is surely its goal. Estimates by Forrester Research place mobile payments at $142 billion by 2019 and they currently stand at $52 billion for 2015.
Users in the current markets can expect to see their dollar amounts hyperlinked in the coming weeks, and more cities will hopefully be announced soon.
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