A modified version of the Facebook Messenger has revealed that person-to-person payment interfaces and other elements are already integrated into the app. The discovery was made by iOS developer Andre Aude.
Just like sending a message or sending a photo, Facebook’s payments implementation is integrated into the chat window. The idea being, that if you talk to a friend about getting coffee, you can pay your half of the bill in the same place. A history of payments appears in the settings pages.
Facebook has not confirmed that the feature is coming any time soon. Zuckerberg has floated the idea of Facebook tying mobile payments before, but warned it was a long way off.
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It is also unknown whether (or more like, how) Facebook will monetize the feature. A small commission per transaction seems like the most obvious approach, but with strong competition from companies like Square, there is some speculation Facebook may make its cross-person payments free for individuals.
Every update to the Facebook Messenger receives much criticism in the App Store, with one-star ratings dominating the reviews. Users continue to be annoyed at the fact that Facebook removed Messenger from the core Facebook app, so many users find it frustrating that they have to have two juggle apps on their phone for the same service.
Payments probably won’t change the harsh public opinion, but it at least partly justifies why Facebook wanted to send the two apps down different paths. Only last week did Facebook Messenger get updated for iPhone 6 layouts, whereas the Facebook app remains scaled.