The addition to Messenger is free, and will be brought out in the US over the coming months

Facebook is introducing a new feature that promises to give people a more convenient and secure way to send or receive money to friends.

The addition to Messenger is free, and will be brought out in the US over the coming months.

The app now features a small ‘$’ sign above the keyboard which leads to a payment section, where the user can enter the amount of money they wish to send and tap to confirm.

If a friend doesn’t have a bank account linked, it is simply held until he or she adds one.

Facebook said it keeps a team of anti-fraud specialists monitoring accounts for suspicious purchases.

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The new feature will be rolling out to Android, iOS and the Web over the coming months in the US, with no word on availability in other countries at the time of writing.

According to Re/Code, money is held briefly by Facebook, after which it is transferred to the respective friend’s bank account.

"We’re not trying to make a profit out of payments," Facebook product manager Steve Davis told the website.

"For now, it's just a useful feature in one of the company's most popular products."

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