How Sending Money on Facebook Messenger Works

Meta Pay, formerly called Facebook Pay, is an online payment service that can be accessed on any of Meta's sites, including the Facebook Messenger app, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The Meta Pay button also pops up as a payment option on some other websites, but its primary function is to help users of Meta's social sites send and receive money from their online friends and groups.

Since Meta (META), formerly Facebook, launched its social network in 2004, its features have expanded significantly. The vision of its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, began as a way to take the social dynamics of a college campus and put them online.

Key Takeaways

  • Sending money through Facebook is simple: users simply need to enter a debit card or PayPal account through the in-app payment feature on Facebook Messenger.
  • In November 2019, Facebook (now Meta) announced the launch of Facebook Pay (now Meta Pay), making it possible to process transactions across its platforms to purchase games, event tickets, and certain Facebook Marketplace items.
  • Most major credit and debit cards are accepted as well as PayPal and Shop Pay.

In the site's earliest days, students at a small number of elite colleges made profiles consisting of pictures and whatever additional information about themselves they chose to give, and then linked them with their friends' profiles; hence the term social network.

At first, only students with verified email addresses from a list of approved colleges could sign up for Facebook. The site had no revenue stream. Its funding came from venture capitalists who saw the potential for big returns if the concept caught on.

Since then, the social network has become much more than an online playground for Ivy League college students. In 2022, Meta platforms including Facebook and Instagram brought in about $116.6 billion in revenue. (Granted, that was a slight revenue decline from the previous year.) Almost all of that was from advertising sales. Only Google makes more money selling ad space online.

Facebook made it possible to send money to friends and business associates through the Facebook site with a few clicks of the mouse or taps of the screen as part of Facebook Messenger, the site's instant messaging component. Payments can only be

The site makes sending and receiving money from your Facebook friends simple for anyone with a major credit or debit card or an account with PayPal or Shop Pay. Meta acts as a conduit between your bank and your friend's bank, channeling the money from one to the other.

How Sending Money Through Facebook Works

Sending money via Meta Pay through the Messenger app is simple. It takes only seconds once you store your debit card information, which you are prompted to do on your first use of the feature.

Note that Meta Pay is available through the Messenger mobile app but can no longer can be accessed at

The first step is to open a new or existing Facebook Messenger conversation with the friend to whom you wish to send money. Once you pull up the conversation, you should see an icon with a dollar sign at the bottom of your screen. Tap or click that icon. The app then prompts you to enter the amount of money you wish to send; do this and then click or tap the Next button.

At this point, if it is your first time sending money via Facebook, a screen pops up asking you to enter your payment information. Most major credit cards are accepted, as are PayPal and Shop Pay. Enter your card number, expiration date, validation code, and billing zip code. The site stores your debit card information, so you do not have to enter it each time you use Meta Pay.

Next, click or tap the Pay button. The process is now complete. The app transfers the funds to your friend immediately. If you use an online banking app, you should see the money deducted from your available balance within minutes.

For those concerned with having financial information stored on a third-party server, Meta provides an information page where you can read about its security protocols. The site claims to use multiple layers of hardware and software protection on its servers.

Receiving Money Via Facebook Messenger

Receiving money via Facebook Messenger is even easier than sending it. When a friend sends you money, you receive a Facebook notification, similar to what you receive when a friend sends a regular message.

If your payment information is already stored in the app, you don't have to do anything. The money is transferred instantly.

If you haven't provided your payment information to Meta Pay, you'll get a prompt to enter the information. Once you enter it, the app completes the transaction. If you send or receive money in the future, your card is already stored and you do not have to enter it again.

Though the money is transferred instantly, it may, depending on your bank, take a day or longer to appear in your available balance. Banks maintain different hold time rules for electronic deposits.

How Meta Makes Money From Meta Pay

Meta imposes no charge to send or receive money via Facebook Messenger. The company makes no money directly with this feature.

The financial incentive to create Meta Pay was to encourage and ease users into storing their payment information on the site and considering it as an option for future transactions.

Meta Pay can be used to donate to charity, make in-game purchases, buy event tickets, make person-to-person payments, and buy goods on certain Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace.

Users who sign up for the send and receive money feature have their payment information stored on the site. That may make it easier to buy advertised products with a single screen tap. In this regard, Meta stands to make a lot of money, albeit indirectly, from its send-and-receive money feature.

Does Meta Pay Charge Fees?

There are no fees associated with Meta Pay. Keep in mind that there may be fees and charges associated with the payment method you use with Meta Pay.

How Do I Get Rid of Meta Pay?

If you don't want to use Meta Pay anymore, tap on Settings in the app. Then tap on Payments, then tap on Meta Pay. Tap on your payment method and you will get options to Remove Card or Remove Account.

Why Is Facebook Pay Now Called Meta Pay?

The Facebook parent company changed its name from Facebook to Meta on June 9, 2022. The new name is supposed to reflect the company's dedication to the emerging metaverse. More practically speaking, it reflects the company's expansion to include Instagram and WhatsApp as well as the original Facebook site.

The Bottom Line

Meta Pay is an easy and free way to instantly send or receive cash among the circle of friends and associates that you have created on Facebook or Instagram, or WhatsApp. Its usefulness outside of the sites owned by Meta is rather limited at present. Most consumers will still need PayPal or another widely available payment app to make most online purchases. There's always the alternative, of course, of entering your credit or debit card information directly for each purchase online.

Article Sources
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  1. Statista. "Annual revenue generated by Meta platforms from 2009 to 2022."

  2. Facebook Help Center. "What payment methods can I use in Meta Pay?"

  3. Facebook Help Center. "Payment methods available for MetaPay."

  4. Meta. "Protecting Privacy and Security."

  5. Meta. "Get Started with Meta Pay."

  6. Meta. "Add or remove a payment method from Meta Pay."