Did you hear that?
There it goes again! But I could have sworn the sound was coming from my … phone. What the what?
That sound, friends, was the dulcet jingle of cold, hard cash arriving by INSTANT MESSAGE right to my phone.
What is this delicious sorcery, you might ask (and you’d be right to)?!
It’s a cash transfer, made possible by Facebook’s Messenger app, and it’s coming to a phone near you (yes, yours).
OK, OKAY. Let’s back up a second.
By now, I’m sure that most of you have used an e-payment service like PayPal or other such service. But have you used Square Cash? Venmo? Anyone?
Each of these services allows you to send cash—let’s say you owe your friend money for last night’s pizza or for the six pack he picked up for you and you need to pay him back—from your debit card to someone else’s, and they let you do it through a text or email message.
Sounds easy, right?
Well, Facebook has just done those services one better.
Using its Messenger app (and yes, we know what folks have said about Messenger) app, which has more than 500 million monthly users and WhatsApp, which has more than 700 million active users around the world, Facebook is implementing a service that allows you—without a fee—to send money by instant message from your debit card to someone else’s.
And that, people, is SOLID awesome.
Need to pay your babysitter? DONE.
Need to send money for that case of Thin Mints you ordered? DONE.
Need to send your share of last weekend’s Uber fares? DONE.
In the Messenger app, right next to the “thumbs up” button, there will soon be a dollar sign button, which you can tap when you need to send someone money. All exchanges will be recorded within your Messenger conversation, so there’s always a record, and, like we said, there are no fees, and there’s nothing to withdraw.
At the start, the cash transfers will only be allowed between people who are already Facebook friends, which we think makes sense, but that could change. As mobile payments continue to grow, it’s entirely possible that Facebook will try to make a play to compete with Apple and ApplePay service.
Facebook hasn’t been specific about when this new feature will be added, but we can tell you that it’s being rolled out in the next few months.
Til then, we’re pretty excited that there’s a new way to send money when you need to. And we’re REALLY excited that it’s fast, it’s secure, and that it’s FREE.
Sweet! What do you think?
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