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Facebook Messenger Launches Group Payment Service

Facebook just made splitting the check at dinner easier with the announcement that Messenger can now support group payments.

According to TechCrunch, the free service, which for now is only available on Android and desktop, will allow users to pay either everyone in the group or individual members through a simple click of the payments icon (aka the dollar sign).

While Facebook users have been able to make person-to-person payments within Messenger since 2015, the group payment option will be handy for scenarios when everyone is chipping in on a purchase — like a group gift — or are splitting a restaurant bill.

While Facebook has been hesitant to promote its plans for payments, it is such an important feature for today’s messaging apps, such as Snapchat and China’s WeChat, which already support in-app payments. And Kik recently announced its plans to add payments to its app.

The introduction of group payments also comes at a time when Facebook is rumored to be planning a digital payments business in India within its other messaging app, WhatsApp.

To send a group payment, Facebook users can simply select the payments icon after clicking on the plus sign in the bottom left hand side of the group conversation. In addition to sending payments, you can also request payments from the group right within a chat by entering the amount to be divided and hitting “request.” There’s also the option to write a note about what the money is for (ie. “Mom’s birthday gift”).  A message will appear in the group chat to show who has paid.

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