Facebook Messenger now supports group payments

Facebook introduced person-to-person payments within Messenger in early 2015, but the company has announced the feature is expanding to support groups, as well.

Rather than lean on a payments company like PayPal to power the feature, Facebook built it from the ground up from its experience processing over 1 million payments a day through its ads and games platforms.

Transactions and payment info are encrypted, and Facebook says “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,” from an anti-fraud team.

The facebook payments feature essentially works the same in group chats as in private ones, but now allows users to pay either everyone in the group or individual members through a click of the payments icon (the dollar sign).

Now the question is whether this is the first step towards Messenger becoming a more full-featured experience. Messenger could follow the trend of monolithic chat apps of Asia like WeChat that let you make payments, e-commerce purchases, hail taxis and more. Messenger is going to have announcements at next week’s f8 developer conference, and we could see more platform ambitions from it then.

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