Facebook Messenger users in the United States have been able to send money to each other from within the app for quite some time, and that same functionality is now finally making its way to other territories. If you're lucky enough to live in the UK or France, the Send Money feature should be available to you soon, rolling out over the next few weeks.

It's unclear why it's taken the Facebook Messenger team more than two years to launch these P2P payments outside the US, but at least they're here now. It's still only possible to send money to someone in your own country, though, so no cross-border transactions for the moment. If you want to try the new feature out on either side of the Channel, here's how:

To send money:

  1. Start a message with a friend
  2. Tap the blue + icon and then tap the green Payments icon
  3. Set up your payment account (only the first time) and then enter the amount you want to send
  4. Tap Pay and then add your debit card
  5. Watch the amount of money you sent rain down on the screen

To receive money:

  1. Open the conversation from your friend
  2. Tap Add Card in the message, add your debit card and setup your payment account to accept money for the first time

As with any payment through bank accounts in each country, it may take up to 3 business days for the funds to become available to the recipient. Rest assured that all card details entered into the app are encrypted and "protected with bank-level security." There's no additional authorization needed once you're signed in, so you may want to be extra careful about leaving your phone or computer unlocked around mischievous friends and relatives. M, Facebook Messenger's built-in AI assistant, will be able to understand when you're talking about money and offer you the payment option before you've even thought about it, which is only slightly terrifying.

If you've got a spare minute or two and could use a smile, I recommend reading the source link. It's full of glorious hyperbole such as:

"It’s not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so. Reciprocity fosters happiness and builds trust."

How delightful.