Facebook Plans to Make Splitting Bills Easier With Messenger Split Payments

Published · Dec 06, 2021

Facebook is gearing up to improve its payment app by trialing “split payments.” The new feature will integrate with existing ones to allow seamless use. However, some are still concerned about trusting Facebook with financial data.

Facebook Pay launched in 2019 but didn’t make much of an impact. It relies on existing online payment gateway technology. Often, people would rather just go through those directly. Facebook hopes to change that by adding this new feature.

The company has yet to release full details on how it will work. For now, it has just teased the upcoming release at the end of an otherwise unrelated post.

The feature will help users work out how to divide a payment among multiple people. Then, they can share that information in a group chat, allowing others to pay their part of the bill directly.

Dividing up the bill after a night out or splitting utilities among roommates can be a pain in the neck. This app should simplify the process greatly. With over 1.3 billion Messenger users globally, many can take advantage.

Ever Present Privacy Concerns

All that said, Facebook still can’t shake people’s concerns about privacy. The company, now called Meta, has gone back and forth over the issue a few times this year. While it is working to ban targeted tracking, it has also expressed plans to continue facial recognition research.

Granted, split payments offer a more granular way to pay in groups. However, Western users might be more comfortable sticking with established platforms. Paypal, for example, boasts nearly 400 million active users.

That said, Pay has one big advantage. It works through Instagram and WhatsApp too. WhatsApp is the most widespread texting app, with over 2 billion users worldwide.

Split Payments will be rolling out for American users soon. More countries are sure to follow, which will boost its usage.

Garan van Rensburg
Garan van Rensburg

Garan is a writer interested in how tech reshapes the environment, and how the environment reshapes tech. You'll usually find him inoculating against future shock and arguing with bots.