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Coming soon: Money transfer via Facebook Messenger

06-July-2016
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Coming soon: Money transfer via Facebook Messenger

In the build-up to an entirely new game of transferring money via social media platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook looks to explore money transfers using social media usernames following a trial in Singapore, according to media reports.

The system will allow electronic transfers between account holders who have registered their social media identities with their banks, allowing users to make payments by selecting the payee’s Facebook ID instead of typing in an account number and sort code.

In a similar attempt last year, Axis bank announced a payment program “Ping Pay” through which users could transfer money to their friends and relatives via Whatsapp and other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, SMS or e-mail with the help of the IDs related to the social media accounts.

The app can be downloaded and used by non-Axis bank users too but the send money/recharge feature is available only for Axis customers.

Last month, Freecharge too launched a similar “Chat n Pay” feature to transfer money from the mobile wallet app through Whatsapp and is available only for Freecharge users on Android platforms.

Concerns on privacy:

One of the biggest concerns, however, is the fact that users would be highly concerned about their privacy and details with constant threats of cyber crime and the website’s public availability. Facebook messenger payments are free and a PIN-based security system is used in terms of user data protection.

According to media reports Facebook users in the US are already able to transfer money to their friends free of charge on Messenger, while Snapchat users can also send money to contacts using “Snapcash”.

In the case of messenger payments both the parties require a debit card. A user first requires to add his/her debit card by tapping the "Profile" icon, scrolling down to "Payments" option and then finishing the process by tapping on "Add New Debit Card" and follow the process to make or receive payments.

Before the launch of the money transfer service on Messenger in the US, Mark Zuckerberg had said that he did want a part in becoming a payments processor. "On payments, the basic strategy that we have is to make it -- especially in products like Messenger where the business interaction may be a bit more transactional -- to take all the friction out of making the transactions that you need," he added.

The feature is expected to roll out in other countries soon and with the traditional way of payments soon seeming to be phased out, the future of transactions are surely through apps and smartphones.

Even though Mark Zuckerberg has denied being a payment processor the payment option may prove to be a competition to mobile wallets and banking apps that provide money transferring services once it enters Indian markets. 

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