Facebook Messenger's money transfer tool is heading to the UK


Neither Square Cash, Venmo nor Apple Pay Cash are available to British users yet, where consumers are well used to mobile payments in general.

It's the first time Facebook has launched the feature outside of the US. Facebook gained an e-money licence in Ireland in December past year sparking speculation that it was eyeing a move into payments beyond home turf.

Back in 2015, Facebook introduced the ability to send money to friends through Messenger and now it has brought that capability to United Kingdom users.

This is the first time Messenger has extended payments since launching in the US.

"Messenger uses people's authentic identities so people know who they are talking to", says Facebook.

"Our research shows the top reasons for sending money include celebrations, social, and festive occasions; it's those everyday moments we're trying to make a little easier".

To use it, go into a chat with a friend and tap the plus button, and it will then let you select the option to pay them. The service initially launched in the U.S.in 2015 and has caught on when users want to send payments that would have previously been made with fairly small amounts of money under $50. Facebook has a greater opportunity to monetize its service with additional revenue streams aside from advertising, including subscription fees for publications, earning a commission on payments and charging users to list products for sale in the Marketplace section.

Facebook appears keen to highlight the security credentials of its P2P payment system, noting that debit card details will be encrypted and protected with bank level security.

Facebook is also introducing something called M suggestions, a virtual assistant that recognises when you are talking about payments.

A number of companies have begun working peer-to-peer payment abilities into their services.