Why it matters to you
PayPal’s new peer-to-peer payments feature makes it easier than ever to pay your friends through Messenger.
Facebook and PayPal are partnering to make it easier for you to pay your rent. On Friday, October 20, the two tech titans announced PayPal for Messenger, a new feature that lets Messenger chatters select PayPal as a peer-to-peer funding source.
Starting October 20 in the U.S., Messenger users on iOS and Android will gain the option of sending and requesting money in Messenger. It’s easy: From the composition screen in a group message or one-on-one conversation, tapping Messenger’s blue plus-shaped icon pulls up the Payments button. From there, you’ll see a prominent PayPal button that, when tapped, switches your default funding source to your PayPal balance.
It’s a boon for the more than 450 million people who use Facebook’s local buy-and-sell groups, PayPal COO Bill Ready told TechCrunch.
“[This] is part of a broader movement where we’re meeting the user in whatever context they’re in,” he said.
Facebook and PayPal teamed up last year for in-app peer-to-peer payments, but the integration wasn’t as deep. Messenger users could link their PayPal accounts to pay for goods and to make purchases directly from Messenger bots, but they couldn’t pay each other.
Still, over 2.5 million users linked their PayPal account with Messenger, PayPal said.
In addition to Friday’s expanded payments integration, PayPal announced new Messenger bot capabilities. Starting October 20 in the U.S. on the web (with iOS and Android to follow), PayPal’s bot will support notifications and receipts, and use natural language processing to help parse PayPal customers’ questions.
It’ll handle simpler requests, like password resets and questions about recent transactions, on its own. But for more complicated queries, it’ll hand the conversation off to a live rep.
“The unique thing here is that Messenger has opened up a platform that allows us to not only have a one-to-one communication,” Ready told TechCrunch, “but there’s a platform where we can go resolve things right inside of Messenger.”
This isn’t the first time PayPal has partnered with Facebook in regards to ecommerce. In December, the company processed payments relating to Uber rides ordered through Messenger. Additionally, it has helped PayPal-enabled merchants to sell products from the Shop section within Facebook Pages.
More recently, PayPal added a notifications setting to Messenger, making it easier for PayPal customers to manage transaction receipts in one place. These alerts include info such as order confirmations, shipping addresses, and total payments made.
“These new capabilities deepen our partnership with Facebook,” Ready told Digital Trends. “PayPal’s mobile-optimized experience, when combined with relevant, in-context commerce experiences, will help offer a compelling and frictionless commerce experience.”
Update: Added news that PayPal has introduced peer-to-peer payments in Messenger.