Facebook’s seamless transformation from “the place all those embarrassing photos of you in fancy dress from uni live” to “place where literally every aspect of your social and professional life happens” has been rapid and, to be honest, a bit dystopian.
And now, in ‘I’m starting to regret giving all of my data to this vast, faceless technology company but it’s way too late for me to do anything about it’ news, you’ll be able to use Facebook Messenger to pay your mates.
It’s really, really, easy too: all you have to do is link your card to your Messenger account, select the amount of money you want to send your friend and… press send. That’s it: like PayPal, except you literally never ever have to leave Facebook under any circumstances.
You’ll also be asked to enter a pin number which Facebook says will protect your money.
If you want to receive money, you’ll also need to link your debit card – but according to Wired UK, this only takes “a matter of seconds”.
At the moment, you can only send £250 at a time to friends in the same country as you – but Facebook hopes to widen the feature so you can pay small businesses, too.
“With P2P payments this paves the path to us enabling small and large businesses to accept payments inside of Messenger,” said David Marcus, who heads up the Messenger team. “A lot of public services require a form of conversation if you can do it in the form of Messenger and add payments on top of things, I think it would be a really good customer experience.”
So you might just be giving your mate that tenner you owe him now, but rest assured: you’ll soon be able to make reckless and financially irresponsible purchasing choices without ever leaving the safe cocoon of Facebook Messenger. The dream.