Meta, the big tech firm formerly known as Facebook, has begun testing a new payments feature within its messenger platform known as split payments, according to a company blog post.
The feature enables users to split the cost of bills and expenses by clicking the “Get Started” button within a group chat or the payments hub of Messenger, and will be tested within small groups of U.S. users starting next week, according to Finextra.
After entering a personalized message and confirming their Facebook Pay details, users can then split a bill evenly or modify contribution amounts for each individual. The company says the new feature is a free and fast way to handle finances through Messenger.
“If you’ve struggled with dividing up (and getting paid back for) group dinners, shared household expenses or even the monthly rent, it’s about to get easier,” the company said in the post.
The new launch is in line with a number of new Messenger payments features. It recently launched a QR code addition that enables peer-to-peer payments, and expanded Facebook Pay to allow sending and requesting money to those that aren’t Facebook friends.
Facebook Pay was first launched in November 2019 as a way to establish a payments system across the company’s ecosystem. Originally used for P2P payments, this launch shows continuing expansion into other services like donations and e-commerce, according to TechCrunch.
The test raises questions when looking at the growing trend of payments integrations in technology ecosystems. Microsoft recently met criticism after introducing BNPL services into its Edge web browser; the move has been lamented by users who say the service slows their web experience and increases credit danger to users.
In other recent fintech news, Marqeta is partnering with the First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) to expand the bank’s credit card offerings. Suncoast Credit Union is also partnering with MX to enhance user experience and its data insight capabilities.