Facebook makes cash transfer move
Facebook has announced a new feature in its Messenger app that enables users to send and receive money between friends.
The social network says the new feature will start rolling out to users in the US over "the coming months", and will be free to use.
The feature will see a new dollar sign icon added below the text entry box, alongside where users tap to add audio notes, images or emojis. Once you have tapped the icon, users will be able to enter an amount they wish to send and transfer it via their debit card.
There is no word yet on if and when the feature will be extended to outside the US.
The move follows other social apps like Snapchat that also allow users to transfer money between two people, while apps like Barclays Pingit make it possible to do so using only a mobile phone number and an in-app link to your bank account.
Following several recent high profile cyber attacks on large companies and websites, Facebook has also been quick to reassure users that the new system is secure, pointing out that some financial transactions have been taking place on the site for years.
A Facebook spokesman said: "A dependable and trusted payments processor for game players and advertisers since 2007, Facebook processes more than one million transactions daily on the site and also handles all the payments processed on Messenger.
"Incorporating security best practices into our payments business has always been a top priority. 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.
"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."
The California-based firm explained that the first time you use the service, users will have to add a debit or credit card to their Facebook account.
Once this has been completed, users will be able to create and use a Pin code in order to carry out future transactions. The social network also confirmed that compatible iPhone users will be able to use the Touch ID fingerprint scanner to complete transfers. The feature will also be accessible on desktop computers.