PayPal has announced a new integration with Facebook Messenger that’s designed to make it easier for small-scale sellers at garage sales, on Craigslist, or even on Facebook Marketplace to request and receive payments.
PayPal has for some time supported Facebook’s Messenger app across a number of initiatives, including adding B2C transactions last year and a peer-to-peer (P2P) payment option through Messenger a few weeks ago. The company’s new Messenger chat extension, however, brings a full-fledged PayPal payment experience to Facebook’s omnipresent messaging app. This means sellers will be able to configure an invoice on the spot, while buyers get full buyer protection in case there is a problem with the goods.
So let’s say you’re getting rid of a bunch of stuff in a yard sale. You would create a short name for each item, add a description (optional), quantity, and dollar amount.
The buyer can then simply hit “Pay with PayPal” when they receive the seller’s message, and they can pay swiftly via PayPal One Touch.
So Facebook Messenger effectively serves as the platform for the entire transaction, with everything taking place within the app.
“Commerce is continuously expanding into new contexts,” noted PayPal senior product manager Shilpa Dhar, in a blog post. “With the explosion of mobile apps, new commerce opportunities have been created and consumers are looking to make purchases in-context, without leaving those applications. PayPal is focused on helping merchants and consumers connect across a range of contexts, including these new, emerging arenas.”
With 1.3 billion monthly users, Facebook Messenger has emerged as the social glue for friends and family alike, but for a few years Facebook has also been pushing the app as a platform for all manner of interactions — including B2C transactions. Until last October, Messenger only supported debit card payments, but opening to PayPal went some way toward removing friction from online transactions, given that more than 200 million people globally are already active on PayPal.
Today’s news represents another step forward for the much-mooted cashless society, with PayPal and Facebook Messenger joining the dots to make digital transactions as easy as tapping a few buttons.