Facebook introduces IM money transfers

Social media giant Facebook is the latest company to jump on the mobile commerce bandwagon with the introduction of the ability to transfer money via its Messenger IM tool.

The mechanism looks pretty straightforward: so long as both protagonists have their debit cards registered with Facebook you just select the transfer tool, specify the amount and pull the trigger.

In its press release Facebook was keen to stress what a trusted payments processor it is thanks to its experience with casual games and advertisers. Further testimony to its devotion to security indicates this area is perceived by Facebook as the biggest obstacle to mainstream adoption of the service.

Facebook is not the first OTT player to give this sort of thing a go. Google launched the ability to transfer money via Gmail in the US back in 2013 via the Google Wallet, and even extended it to the UK earlier this year. It’s not clear how much traction the Google service has got, but if the Facebook IM version is a bit easier and more intuitive to use on a smartphone that could make all the difference. A better comparison may be with the Snapchat money transfer facility launched late last year.

The Facebook IM money transfer facility will be rolling out across Android, iOS and desktop in the US only, with no indications of when it might expand internationally.

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