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Facebook files patent application for payment services via messages

The move comes at a time when the government is pushing digital payment modes

Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai 

Digital Payment
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In what could be a step towards offering its services in the country, online social networking giant Inc has filed a application with the Indian Office for its invention on sending and receiving payments using a message system. offers payment services through its online chat application in some countries, and also owns another major online chat app, which has millions of users in India.

The company has claimed that the invention relates to systems methods and devices that provide a transactional payment system, which allows users to send and receive electronic payments to and from other users of the messaging system. 

A detailed description on the invention says that a messaging application on a client device can receive payment information input — such as amount and transaction method — from a sender for making a payment to a recipient.

The transactional payment system can provide interactive status messages to allow both the sending and the receiving users to interact with and monitor a payment process within a message thread of a messaging application. The system will allow the users to send and receive payments without going to a seperate application, then need not purchase or download another application, which may result in a larger and quicker adoption rate of sending payments via a transactional payment system, which in turn creates a large network of users available to send and receive payments using a single platform.

Besides, the graphic interface would allow the recipient to accept or deny the payment. It could also facilitate payments for more than two users and payment in groups, where the amount to be received by the individual members could be defined. The system could also be used in business transactions, between business entities and invidividuals or between businesses. 

is currently offering its payment service through its online chat application Messenger, which it carved out from the social networking site as a seperate application, in countries like US, where the user can send or recieve money through the application after adding a debit card from any of the banks in the country to the Mesenger account. Adding a debit card would allow the user to create a PIN to provide extra security while sending money. It also offers an option to decline the money from a sender, and mostly this could be the option if the recipient has not added a debit card to the account.

The filing of the application comes at a time when there has been reports that the social networking giant with Facebook, and applications operating across various types of screens across the world, is looking at introducing its payment services in India. India is one of the largest market for the company, after US, with more than 166 million monthly active users in the country, according to reports. A majority of the traffic is through mobile devices.

The move also comes at a time when the Government of India is giving a push to the cashless, digital transaction methods post demonetisation including the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) from National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and the resultant app, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM).