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Facebook, Snapchat for transferring funds? Maybe.

Kimberley Carmona

Once a month, my roommate will text me the total amount of my share of the utility bills. Instead of writing her a check or finding a Chase ATM, I just Venmo her. Venmo is one of my favorite mobile payment apps and my go-to for paying back friends.

Funds are usually removed or deposited into a checking account within a day, but what makes Venmo fun is the social feed. Users can explain the reason for transferring funds by using emojis or silly phrases.

However, the idea of having fewer apps on my phone is intriguing. Using Facebook Messenger and Snapcash (the mobile payment app within Snapchat) would allow me to send funds without the need of a separate app. Before giving the apps a whirl, I conducted an informal poll of my social network to see if anyone had used either app to send or receive money and what they thought of their experience.

Out of 59 responses, only two people said they used Facebook Messenger to send funds, and one person received funds. They all said they liked Facebook Messenger because it was “fast and easy,” and there was no need to download a separate app.

Sixteen people did not know they could send funds over Facebook Messenger, and the other 40 people just didn’t use either.

For Snapcash, two people said they had used the app to receive or send funds. Both said they liked it and that it was easy. Twelve people said they didn’t know they could send money over Snapchat, and 45 said they didn’t use it.

snapchat-screenshots

For my experiment using the two apps, my boyfriend was my guinea pig. I owed him for some candy, so thought this would be a fun way to try to pay him back.

I started with Facebook.

facebook-screenshots

The instructions were straightforward: Send a message to the person you are sending money to, click the button that has three dots, click on the circle with the dollar sign, add your debit card information and tap “pay” in the top right.

After the money was sent, my boyfriend received a Facebook message from me about receiving funds. He added his debit card information, and the money was transferred to his account immediately. His bank, however, is still processing the payment. It takes up to three business days to receive the funds.

Things to know:

  • Facebook Messenger accepts only Visa and MasterCard debit cards issued by a U.S. bank.
  • You must be at least 18 years old to send or receive funds.
  • Transferring funds is free.

Sending money through Facebook Messenger wasn’t complicated. The only thing that appears on Facebook Messenger is the dollar amount that was paid or received.

I did have some concerns about Facebook knowing my debit card information. To keep information safer, Facebook warns you that without creating a PIN/password or using TouchID, your funds are less secure.

For Snapchat, sending funds was even easier than Facebook.

To send Snapcash, users have to swipe right on a friend’s name in the Snapchat feed as if if they were going to use the chat feature. Users type in a dollar amount, add their debit card information and press send. A pop-up message will appear asking if you are approving the amount.

As with Facebook, my boyfriend also had to add his debit card information. It can take one to two business days to receive funds, but my boyfriend’s payment is still processing. The one thing he noticed was that he had two $1 charges on his account from Square, which partnered up with Snapchat to offer the service. The charges are used to check if the account is active, and will be removed in a few days, according to Square.

Things to know:

  • Recipients have 24 hours to link a debit card. If not, the money goes back to the sender’s account in one to two business days.
  • There is a $250 weekly limit when sending money. If you send more, you will be asked to verify your identity to increase the sending limit. Square will ask for a full name, date of birth and Social Security number.
  • The receiving limit for Snapcash is $1,000 per 30-day period. Any more and Square will have to verify your identity.
  • Snapcash accepts only Visa and MasterCard debit cards issued by a U.S. bank.
  • You must be 18 years or older to send or receive money.

For security, Snapcash allows users to turn on a security code that will be used to send funds. The security code is the card’s CVV, which I was a little hesitant about using.

Overall, the experiences with both Facebook Messenger and Snapcash beat my expectations. Entering my card’s CVV as the security code in Snapcash turned me off due to security reasons. Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, will be my go-to for sending funds to close friends. But I’ll stick to Venmo when purchasing items on Craigslist.

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