A New Way To Pay

I haven’t touched a physical dollar bill in months.

Cash is rarely necessary, so I never feel like I need it. Because of this, my friends and I always have running tabs with each other. (They don’t carry cash either.)

I’m behind the curve when it comes to new payment methods, but a few days ago I found out that Facebook is introducing a way to process payments through Facebook Messenger. Since I get on Facebook at least once a day, I know this new feature is going to solve my payback problems.

Apps for paying your friends already exist – I know a few people who use Venmo, an app specifically designed to allow transactions between mobile devices that accepts debit and credit. My issue with Venmo, however, is simply that it’s another app you have to download.

As apps like Snapchat and Facebook slowly turn into do-it-all platforms, it’s becoming inconvenient to sign up for more social networks than necessary. So when I found out about Facebook Messenger’s payment feature, I was sold.

On Facebook Messenger, you will only be able to use debit accounts for security purposes – the benefit of this is that there will be no service charge. The payment feature will be a “$” icon on the bottom right of the chat screen. Say you bought your friend a concert ticket and you’re chatting about it with him right now – he can pay you back immediately so your seats can be next to each other. Convenient, right?

Facebook is brilliant for including this feature. While I don’t believe Facebook is becoming obsolete at all, I’ve heard many people say the opposite. Features like this one will keep people coming back to Facebook for a long time. It only makes sense that Facebook, where we can already chat with friends, create conversations, groups, events and timelines, would allow us to pay our friends as well.

And to those of you who are afraid of trusting Facebook with your debit card information, have no fear. Facebook has been handling payment transactions for games and advertisements since 2007 and their track record looks great.

Facebook is planning to make the payment feature available to the U.S. in a few months – so get ready to close out your tabs with your pals for good!

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