Facebook’s expansion continues as the company looks set to introduce a mobile payments system on its messenger app.
Screenshots taken by iOS developer Andrew Aude reveal how Facebook users can add a credit or debit card to their account and send money via messages. Transfers appear as though they need to be verified by a pin.
Aude tweeted: “With Facebook Messenger, you attach money like you attach a photo or a location. You don’t even have to link a bank account!”
Jonathan Zdziarski, an iOS forensics expert, also tweeted about possible payments on Facebook.
He posted a picture of some code with the phrase ‘FBPaymentsCreditCard’ and wrote: “Not necessarily the best design to keep credit card details in Objective-C objects in resident memory. But meh.”
This is the latest expansion in what is already been a big year for Facebook during which they have acquired Whatsapp messaging service for a record-breaking ££, revealed a predilection for social science research with their Happiness experiment, and plotted a move into healthcare services.
A Facebook mobile payment service has been long-in-the-making, with the company first exploring money transfers in 2010, albeit via third-party developers.
The social network is already requesting “e-money” status in its European headquarters in Ireland, and is permitted to transfer money in the US through gaming apps like Farmville.
Its ‘e-money’ initiative would allow digital credits to be converted into cash, and if approval is granted then Facebook can operate this model throughout the continent using “passporting” rules that enables online payments across EU countries without country specific regulation.
The leaked system does not suggest that Facebook is doing what Apple are with their new Pay initative, nor what Google have long-done with their wallet – it will not work to enable physical purchases.
Facebook has not yet commented.