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.
- Next chose the amount you want to pay.
- Finally enter in the debit card number of the card you want to use.
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
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.
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.
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.