Mobile payments on Facebook Messenger are still a relatively new addition to the app in the United Kingdom. The feature migrated for the first time for the U.S. to the UK in late 2017. However, Facebook has confirmed it is sunsetting the feature in both the UK and France. The decision could be part of the company's WhatsApp cryptocurrency plans.
Messenger mobile payments functioned as a peer-2-peer (P2P) payment system. Users are able to send and receive money through the app using cards and PayPal. Facebook says the system will be shuttered in the two European nations on June 15.
To warn Facebook Messenger users of the change, the company is sending the following email alert for the Payments International team:
“We're contacting you because you have used our payments Peer-to-peer (P2P) service to send and receive money with friends and family on Messenger. We'd like to inform you in advance that we are discontinuing P2P services starting on 15 June 2019. Please note that you won't be able to send and receive money with friends and family after that time, you'll still be able to complete other transactions on Facebook, such as making donations to charitable organizations.
If you would like to verify or update your linked payment methods, you are welcome to do so by visiting your payments settings on Facebook at https://secure.facebook.com/settings?tab=payments§ion=settings. Thank you for entrusting us with your payments needs. We're sorry for the inconvenience that this may have caused.”
Speaking to Neowin, Facebook said the mobile payment system will continue to function in other countries.
Speculation will now surround whether this decision is part of Facebook's plans to create a cryptocurrency and related money transfer platform. We first reported this development back in December, and it seems the currency is being created for WhatsApp.
The company will reportedly use WhatsApp to give users the ability to send and receive a Facebook proprietary cryptocurrency. It is believed Facebook is working on a stablecoin solutions. This means a currency that has a pegged value tied to a real-world asset, such as a currency like the Dollar.