Payment Option Found in Facebook Messenger Could Eventually Feature Bitcoin

Stanford University student, Audrew Aude, revealed pictures of new payment functionality hidden in Facebook Messenger.

Facebook’s expansion continues as the company looks set to introduce a mobile payments system on its messenger app. Photo: Janitors/Flickr

Facebook’s expansion continues as the company looks set to introduce a mobile payments system on its messenger app. Photo: Janitors/Flickr

Facebook Messenger payment mechanism is likely to come soon.

Audrew Aude, computer science student at Stanford University, tweeted on Saturday that he had found a payment feature in Facebook Messenger with the developer instrument Cycript. He posted pictures of new P2P “FB Payments” functionality.

According to Aude, the recent discovery of payment-related code, made by security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski, urged him to look further.

Payment option allows users to send money by adding a debit card in Messenger. The security is ensured by an in-app pincode.

It is unknown whether Facebook will charge a fee for money transactions or make the option free. Facebook Messenger payments option could compete with such money transfer apps as Venmo, PayPal, Square Cash and others.

FB Payment has been under development for a long time and has been revamped after David Marcus, PayPal’s former president, was hired by Facebook.

Marcus is known for supporting bitcoin and likely contributed to the PayPal’s integration with bitcoin, litecoin and dogecoin. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that p2p payments are planned to become part of Facebook Messenger.

Although the pictures of new functionality don’t mean bitcoin will be included in the P2P FB Payments, which is still to be launched, Facebook will probably accept virtual currencies in the future.

At a Facebook Q2 earnings call, Zuckerberg noted that “over time there will be some overlap between [Messenger] and payments. […] The payments piece will be a part of what will help drive the overall success and help people share with each other and interact with businesses.” At the same time he added that “there’s so much groundwork for us to do.”

He also asked investors to estimate Facebook’s profits if they expected the payment mechanism to come quickly. “To the extent that your models or anything reflect that we might be doing that, I strongly encourage you to adjust that, because we’re not going to. We’re going to take the time to do this in the way that is going to be right over multiple years” Zuckerberg said.

Aude wrote on Twitter that “with FB messenger, you attach money just like you attach a photo or a location. You don’t even have to link a bank account.”

Aude said he didn’t found a PayPal option when he tried the code out. It is possible to use only debit cards (no bank accounts or credit cards) and there are only person-to-person transactions. He added that Facebook keeps the transaction private and doesn’t publish it on the news feed.

Facebook has not given any comments on the post.

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