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Facebook to simplify online payments via Messenger

By Kara Santos Published Dec 07, 2021 1:01 pm

With the holiday season fast approaching, Facebook wants to give its users the ability to handle finances and easily divide funds and get back payments online from other users all within its Messenger app.

Facebook Messenger recently announced that it will be testing out a new “Split Payments” feature in the US to introduce a way for users to share the cost of bills and expenses through the app.

The company says the new feature is a “free and fast way to share the cost of bills and expenses” all through Messenger. 

To use Split Payments, users need to click on the “Get Started” button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. From there, you can split a bill evenly or modify the contribution amount for each individual in the group chat, either with or without yourself included.

Split Payments in Messenger.

Users will also have the option to enter a personalized message for the transaction. Users will be asked to confirm their Facebook Pay details, after which a request will be sent and viewable in your group chat thread.

“If you’ve struggled with dividing up (and getting paid back for) group dinners, shared household expenses or even the monthly rent, it’s about to get easier,” the company said in a blog post about the new feature.

The launch of Split Payments comes a few months after Messenger added Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments. The codes launched in the U.S. allows anyone to send or request money through Facebook Pay—even if they’re not Facebook friends. The feature can be accessed under the “Facebook Pay” section in Messenger’s settings.

In case you missed it, Facebook Pay first launched in November 2019, as a way to establish a “convenient, secure and consistent payment experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp” for not just person-to-person payments, but for other things like donations and e-commerce.

There's no doubt that the pandemic has caused a surge in demand for virtual transactions and e-commerce around the world. In the Philippines, many online transactions are still done mainly through e-wallets like GCash or bank deposits, with receipts often sent via Facebook Messenger.

According to the official website of Facebook Pay, they are currently rolling out the feature to countries around the world, "with the intention to bring this service to more people over time." Their site includes the Philippines among the countries where the service is available, but not for all platforms yet.

While the Split Payments feature will be rolled out only for US users first, it it wouldn’t be surprising if the feature eventually rolls out to others countries as well.

The new Split Payments feature was introduced alongside a few other Messenger updates intended to "bring joy and elevate the Messenger experience for millions of people around the world." Other updates include four new group AR effects for video calling on Messenger and Instagram designed with creators Emma Chamberlain, Zach King, Bella Poarch and King Bach.

Facebook also noted that it also recently launched two new “Stranger Things” Soudmojis, which are emoji that play a sound when you send them within Messenger, and a new chat theme. Messenger also recently rolled out a new Taylor Swift Soudmoji to celebrate the release of “Red.”

"The holiday season is a perfect time to connect with friends and family, whether in person or virtually. We hope these new features and creator partnerships will bring you joy as we approach 2022!," according to the tech giant.