Facebook began testing a peer-to-peer payments feature within the Messenger app in India this April. It was limited to mobile recharges but Messenger has now been spotted endorsing an option to “send and receive money“, besides sending messages and video calling.
This message can be seen when you try to add a new contact in Facebook Messenger, giving an indication that Facebook has been buckling up to roll the P2P payments feature out here in India, as can be seen in the screenshots below.
A Facebook executive confirmed to Factor Daily that Facebook is indeed working on a payments solution on Messenger. While the option is in early stages of testing in new markets (the feature is already available to users in the US, the UK, and France), “India may not be excluded from [Facebook’s] plans“.
However, officially Facebook has denied the existence of such a pilot program and said this is a “technical error“. Its spokesperson said that the message was only meant to be shown to users in the countries which already have the feature on Messenger and has been shown to Indian users mistakenly. “We are working on fixing this, and apologize for any confusion“, the spokesperson wrote to Factor Daily in an email.
Contradicting statements from two Facebook spokespersons has obviously led to confusion. But it would be naive to assume such a feature is not in the works already.
As per Statista, India has the highest number of Facebook users as of April and this makes India a very lucrative market for the tech giant. Meanwhile, another of Facebook’s products, WhatsApp Pay, is also making way for most of the users who can now send money to any UPI ID using the messaging app. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine some form of interoperability between the two services.