Testing Facebook’s New Free Payment Service – Is It Good for Manufactured Spend?

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facebook payments manufactured spend

Facebook Payments Rolls Out – Here Is What You Need to Know

A few months ago Facebook announced that they would be launching a peer to peer payment system. While it has been rolling out in stages, I have been able to test it both on desktop and mobile. Lets take a look.

Sending Money on the Messenger App & on Desktop

While the screens may look slightly different, the process of paying someone works the same on both the desktop and in the mobile app.

  • To pay someone, simply start a conversation with them and click the little $ icon.
facebook payments manufactured spend
Pay icon mobile.
facebook payments manufactured spend
Pay icon desktop.
  • Next chose the amount you want to pay.
facebook payments manufactured spend
Payment amount mobile.
facebook payments manufactured spend
Payment amount desktop.
  • Finally enter in the debit card number of the card you want to use.
facebook payments manufactured spend
Desktop. (I am unable to take a screenshot of the mobile version.

Prepaid Debit Cards

So now that you know how to take payments, you probably want to know if prepaid debit cards can be used. After all, if this were possible it would open up so many possibilities.

Here is Facebook’s official policy regarding what type of cards are accepted:

You can send or receive money in Messenger using a debit card issued by a US bank.

Credit cards, prepaid bank cards and PayPal aren’t supported right now.

Ok so we know they don’t officially support prepaid debit cards, but do they work? The answer is unfortunately no. No luck at all.

I tested the system with the following type of cards and each one failed:

  • Metabank Visa
  • Vanilla Visa
  • Staples Rebate Card
  • Agfed Visa

What Happens

When trying to enter in the card number on mobile, after the 6th or 7th digit a popup will appear that says, “This card can’t be used. Please enter a US debit card from Visa or Mastercard.”

On desktop, after entering in all of the card information and clicking the “Pay” button, the following error appears.

facebook payments manufactured spend

What to Do

So this could be a very handy way to pay friends/family without any fees if you owe them some money. Unfortunately it is not a great way to manufacture spend. It seems that Facebook took the time to make sure their system was built in the “right” way.

I wasn’t able to test every single prepaid debit card, so it is possible that one or two might slip through the cracks given that Facebook seems to be blocking them by card number. With that said, I find that it is highly unlikely any prepaid debit cards will work at this point.

Conclusion

The idea of a free peer to peer payment system setup by a huge company with deep pockets was an intriguing one. Fortunately for most people Facebook’s new system seems to work well and it is without complication or fees. For those of us in this hobby though, it is just another interesting service that most likely doesn’t meet our needs.


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22 COMMENTS

  1. I tried it with the Paypal Debit Business card earlier this month and it worked, do you think it has changed since then?

    • it goes into their debit card.

      PayPal business debit confirmed to work – I tried two days ago.

      Other cards that didn’t work: redbird, bluebird, clinkle treats, chime, oink, and NW buxx

      • So if I send $100 from debit linked to my fb account to partner’s fb account, it will download to his debit that is linked to his fb account and thus go into his bank account? So this would then be a deposit/credit in his bank account?

        • That’s how I understand it. Might be a handy way to meet minimum debit transactions for rewards checking accounts…

  2. Ditto what Presley said. How does the recipient cash it out? Also, are there per transaction or per day or per month limits?

  3. ” Credit cards, prepaid bank cards and PayPal aren’t supported right now.” May be a future option, though FB will likely charge for it then.

  4. Any thoughts on whether or not sending small Facebook payments via Paypal Business Debit Card (funded by MyCash) will cause Paypal to limit your account?

    • It’s just like Square Cash. And just as with Square Cash, do not use a major bank debit card because my friend got shut down for receiving payments on his Chase Debit. Use a credit union.

  5. It’s says my money was received does that mean it worked when my aunt sent it too me and I added my Debit card and it said payment was processed how long do I have too wait too get it and did I do it right thank you for your time

  6. I’ve been using FB payments with my PP business debit for a year now and it suddenly stopped working this morning, says something about not being able to use that card at the moment and how some bank debit cards don’t work. Anyone else encountering the same thing?

  7. I have also been using my PP business debit card for the better part of a year without any issues. The last time it worked was July 26th. I get the same message about certain bank debits card don’t work. Hopefully this is only temporary, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is not. I’d be willing to bet that PP is the one blocking the transactions.

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