Whether you’re splitting the bill at a restaurant or all chipping into buy a gift for someone there comes a point when money has to change hands. However, with people less likely to carry cash about their person, paying for something collectively as a group is getting trickier.
There are already several options open to you, including transferring money between bank accounts, or using Google Wallet or Venmo. But Facebook has an even better idea. All you need is a group of friends all of whom have Messenger installed on their smartphones.
Arrange Payments Between Groups of People
You have been able to send and receive money using Facebook Messenger since 2015. However, you could previously only arrange payments between two people. Now, as outlined in a post on Facebook Newsroom, you can arrange payments between groups of people. All for free.
To initiate a group payment simply tap on the + sign in the bottom left-hand corner of a Messenger conversation. Then tap Payments, and select all of the people you want to request money from. You can select a specific amount or the total bill, which will be split evenly.
After you have requested the money everyone will be prompted to pay up. As the money rolls in Messenger will keep track of who has paid and who hasn’t paid. This should prevent any errant individual from trying to get away with not paying. Because shame is a wonderful motivator.
Group payments in Messenger are only currently available in the U.S. on Android and desktop. We have to assume the option will be added to iOS in the near future, and, assuming it proves popular, other countries around the world too. In the meantime, just pay what you owe already.
Prevent Arguments and Save Friendships
This is a nice little feature that could prevent arguments and save friendships. At the very least it adds another reason for you to link your debit card to your Facebook account. Which will be good for Facebook if and when it ever decides to launch a digital payments business.
Do you use Messenger? Can you see yourself using it to split bills? How do you send or receive money from friends at the moment? Have you ever lost friends over unpaid bills? Do you carry cash these days? If not, why not? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Leonid Mamchenkov via Flickr