Facebook to close P2P payments service

Facebook has confirmed that it is closing down its peer-to-peer (P2P) payments service on Messenger.

The social media giant informed users that the payments service, which launched in the UK in November 2017, two years after it was first rolled out in the US, was being discontinued.

The P2P service allows Facebook users to send and receive payments on the Messenger platform, requiring both parties to enter their account details before the first transaction can be made.

The move is a blow to hopes in the payments community that social media apps would accelerate the spread of P2P services, a process which has grown rapidly in Asia, but which has lagged behind in the US and UK as consumers remain more wary of sharing payment details online.

The Facebook P2P Messenger service will be discontinued from June this year.

An email to users said: “We're contacting you because you have used our payments P2P service to send and receive money with friends and family on Messenger.

"We'd like to inform you in advance that we are discontinuing P2P services starting on 15 June 2019. Please note that although you won't be able to send and receive money with friends and family after that time, you'll still be able to complete other transactions on Facebook, such as making donations to charitable organisations.”

In November last year, Facebook’s Northern Europe finance chief said the company was planning to extend its social messaging platforms WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to become a leading channel of digital payments services.

A spokesman for Messenger said:“We are terminating the ability to send and receive payments in Messenger in both the UK and France effective June 15.

"After evaluating how we give people the best experiences in Messenger, we made the decision to focus our efforts on experiences that people find most useful. Users have been notified in preparation for this change."

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