Facebook has announced a new feature for its Messenger app that will allow users to send and receive money from their friends.

Facebook Messenger

While the code for the payments feature was first discovered in October, today is the day that Facebook decided to turn the switch on the service. People who want to send money in the Messenger app simply start a chat with the designated person, then press the "$" icon and type in the amount of money they want to send. Finally, the user taps the "Pay" selection, adds a debit card and sends the money. To receive funds, the user just taps "Add Card" in a message to add their debit card to get their money.

Facebook says:

The first time you send or receive money in Messenger, you'll need to add a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by a US bank to your account. Once you add a debit card, you can create a PIN to provide additional security the next time you send money. On iOS devices you can also enable Touch ID. As always, you can add another layer of authentication to your account at any time.

The company added that it was taking security seriously with this new payment feature in Messenger. It said:

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 new payments feature is just for US users of Facebook Messenger and will be rolled out in the coming months.

Source: Facebook