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Facebook adding ‘free’ cash transfer service to attract more Messenger login?

Facebook could soon compete with PayPal and Square by using Facebook Messenger, the company’s standalone instant messaging smartphone software. The company’s own app leaked the debit card-supported cash transfer service.

Facebook Messenger, Mobile Payment System, Debit CardThe Facebook Messenger installed on your shiny new iPhone 6 is already equipped with codes that can send and receive money from other Facebook Messenger users — but it’s not working yet because Facebook is still not “pushing on” the button. Maybe they’re waiting for Zuckerberg’s go-signal?

Not surprisingly, the new Facebook Messenger update has added a series of codes that would allow a member of the social network with the app installed to send money to other Facebook Messenger users — and we’re talking about real cash here in case you’re not in the loop. Would you login to Facebook and trust its real money-sharing service?

As mentioned by several reports, the current Facebook Messenger for iOS app is equipped with codes that support mobile payment, and it was discovered by Stanford University student Andrew Aude. Similar to other applications that offer cash transfers, the unannounced Facebook Messenger payment system also includes support for multiple cards, PIN security lock feature and transaction history. You can watch the “hacked app” in action in the video from Aude’s Instagram recording for TechCrunch.

In the version discovered, Facebook’s messenger-based cash transfer service supports debit cards only, and the social network juggernaut could launch this new update without credit cards and bank account support because debit card transactions are much cheaper to process. The app can also use existing debit cards installed on a user’s account.

To send money to someone, the code reveals that it’s as easy as sending a message or a photo. No word yet about other functionalities required to complete the transaction, but it’s safe to say that Facebook could require users to punch in the pin code for every transactions to avoid fraudulent activities.

Back in June, Facebook announced that it hired PayPal’s former president David Marcus to lead the social network’s messaging service. At least now we know why Mr. Marcus is working with the Facebook Messenger — he will help the company transform the messaging app into a PayPal and Square competitor.

The Facebook Messenger app is available on Android and iOS, the two largest mobile operating system in the world. It’s highly possible that Facebook will launch this update simultaneously on two platforms to entice users to try. Of course, Facebook will soon benefit from this update by charging users a small fee per transactions — but Facebook could offer the system for free to enhance its messaging service’s usability, and rely on third-party payment fee to generate revenue.

As noted by TechCrunch, the Menlo Park-based tech giant could offer this service for free to “drive usage” of Facebook Messenger. Apparently, people hate the standalone messenger app after Facebook removed messaging functionality on the primary Facebook app for Android and iOS — forcing people to download the separate application that consumes more storage.



Facebook Messenger Payments feature demoed by @andyplace2 for TechCrunch

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