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Free Friend to Friend Payment through Facebook Messenger App

Free Friend to Friend Payment through Facebook Messenger App: What It Means for Your Business

What It Means for Your Business

Recently, Facebook announced the ability to send payments from person to person through it's Messenger app. Facebook's Messenger app is currently used by 600 million people and is on a steep growth curve! And unlike competitor payment apps Paypal and Venmo, there will be no charge for this service.

Right now, this option is being targeted at individuals. But small businesses could use this feature to make transactions, and most importantly, accept payments for products and services from customers. What is rolled out now is basically phase one of a plan to add more features to the Messenger App and to make it more commerce and business friendly. How do we know this? Facebook held a Developer conference in March and at that event they announced the launch of a series of developer features which is the starting point for opening up the app for more features, much like occurred with Facebook Pages in the past. Payments, of course, is a key feature, and this initial peer-to-peer tool is one to experiment with and watch because it will evolve for businesses!

Facebook Messenger Payments Feature

The app is extremely easy to use. For the person paying/sending the money the process is as follows:

  1. In the Messenger App, the Sender taps the '$' (money) button while conversing with someone
  2. At the prompt, he or she enters a dollar amount for the payment
  3. He or she taps the 'Pay' button and enters debit card information (just the first time) when prompted.

For the business or person receiving the money, it's even simpler:

  1. The Receiver opens the message with the payment and taps 'Add Card' to add his or her debit account details, and payments will flow into that account.

Facebook says payments through Facebook messenger can take up to three business days to complete (which is faster than paid options such as Paypal and Stripe).

Soon, Facebook will integrate CSR (customer service) chat and voice capabilities for businesses via their Businesses on Messenger program, a service for businesses who provide support, service and order tracking. A business will be able to add a customized button to its e-commerce website that'll open Facebook Messenger to a one-on-one conversation with a customer, and give them information about orders, shipping, delivery and more. It will be able to send a customer the following types of communication:

  • text
  • images
  • customized multimedia (think video)

All of these items will also be sent with alerts using smartphone Push Notifications, enabling quick notices and quick access to any message.

Formally integrating payments for business services is a real future possibility. Currently, the 'Pay' button allows smaller businesses to offer payments on Facebook for an individual on a one-off basis. Doing it on a larger scale will bring Facebook up to speed with international competitors. It also keeps Facebook even more relevant to users, not just as a social network but not as a payment system. All of this bodes well for Facebook's future!

To find out how to take advantage of Facebook Messenger for Business for service and support functions, go to: www.messenger.com/business

Will you use the payments feature in the near future? In my opinion it will be wise to get accustomed to it as this is a tool with great promise and with the growth rate of the app already, the user-base is there for this to be a key tool for years ahead.

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