Facebook Messenger P2P payments arrive in the UK

British Facebook users can now send money to each other through the social network giant’s Messenger app.

Facebook has got all the major UK banks and card firms onboard for the service’s first foray outside of the US, where it launched in 2015.

To send money through the free new feature, users press the blue plus symbol within a chat and select the payment option. The first time a payment is made, people are prompted to add their debit card details and then enter the amount they want to send.

Facebook is also working its M virtual assistant into the service. It will recognise when people are chatting about payments and suggest using the feature.

With Venmo and Square Cash not available in the UK, Facebook’s biggest rival in the market is the bank-owned Paym, which has failed to gain traction.

Despite this, Facebook is betting that “mobile-savvy” Brits will warm to its simple-to-use alternative, although it will face another competitor soon in the form of Apple’s iMessage payments service.