Business 18 April 2019Erik Gibbs
Crypto coming? Facebook pulls payment option from Messenger
According to several sources, Facebook has turned off the mobile payments option in Messenger for customers in the UK after having only included it in the latter part of 2017. Customers in the UK, as well as France, no longer have the capability to conduct mobile payments through Messenger and the removal is being seen as a possible precursor to the launch of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, the Facebook Coin.
The mobile payment platform allowed peer-to-peer payments form within Messenger. Users could send and receive money through the Messenger app suing either PayPal or debit or credit cards and, while the system has not been taken offline in other countries, Facebook has confirmed that it will be completely removed for UK and French customers as of June 15.
According to an email that was distributed by Facebook’s Payments International team, “We’re contacting you because you have used our payments Peer-to-peer (P2P) service to send and receive money with friends and family on Messenger. We’d like to inform you in advance that we are discontinuing P2P services starting on 15 June 2019. Please note that you won’t be able to send and receive money with friends and family after that time, you’ll still be able to complete other transactions on Facebook, such as making donations to charitable organizations.
If you would like to verify or update your linked payment methods, you are welcome to do so by visiting your payments settings on Facebook at //secure.facebook.com/settings?tab=payments§ion=settings. Thank you for entrusting us with your payments needs. We’re sorry for the inconvenience that this may have caused.”
It’s a logical step toward a possible launch of the Facebook Coin digital currency, even if there was no indication why the social media giant specifically chose the UK and France. The Facebook Coin will reportedly be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram in order to allow users to send and receive crypto transactions across all three applications.
Hopefully, Facebook will treat the crypto with a little more care and protection than it has its other assets. There was a system wide outage a few days ago that affected all three of the company’s platforms simultaneously, leaving users without their favorite messaging apps for hours. Facebook has also now come under fire for allegedly scraping, or stealing, email contacts of 1.5 million new users.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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