Facebook and PayPal are strengthening their ties and have announced that users in the U.S. can now send and receive money person-to-person over Facebook Messenger. The integration also brings a PayPal customer service bot that can handle questions and requests for help right from within the Facebook Messenger window.
Messenger has always had a payment system integrated that would allow friends to pay each other directly, but that service takes money directly from the payer's bank account via a debit card. That money is then sent directly to the person receiving the funds and places it into their checking account instantly without fees for either party.
The PayPal integration will certainly still carry the same fees that PayPal is known for, which can be substantial on some transactions. The new announcement means that as of now when you are funding those peer-to-peer transactions, you can choose PayPal instead of your debit card. PayPal can also be set as default.
To access the new PayPal feature, all you have to do is tap the blue plus icon inside Messenger. The green payments button is the next thing you need to tap, and then you can select PayPal to send the funds to a contact. PayPal integration should also make it much more convenient to buy and sell items in the myriad of Facebook buy-and-sell groups, which Facebook says about 450 million people visit each month.
The PayPal customer service bot will be available as a contact and will answer natural language requests. You can ask for help if you forgot a password for instance by typing something like "I forgot my password". PayPal's COO Bill Ready says, "The unique thing here is that Messenger has opened up a platform that allows us to not only have a one-to-one communication, but there’s a platform where we can go resolve things right inside of Messenger."
Users in the U.S. are the first to get these new PayPal features and they should be live now with iOS and web going live before Android. Other markets will get support eventually.