Japanese Ecommerce conglomerate Rakuten is beating Facebook at its own plans and has begun to offer money transfers between Facebook friends.
The service called Transfer by Facebook (rough Japanese translation) is part of the Rakuten bank management application. After users logs in to their Rakuten account and link their Facebook accounts they are presented with their friend list. Then it is as simple as choosing the name, the amount, and enter an optional 50 character message.
Between Rakuten account holders, money transfers are fee-free, or free of additional charges. If the requested friend is not a Rakuten account holder, a transfer fee of 165 Yen (roughly $1.6) is charged. After sent, a URL accessible on Facebook gives the recipient the option to enter bank information to complete the transfer.
The news comes shortly after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed a payment option will soon be made available on the company’s Messenger application after hiring former PayPal president David Marcus to head the social giant’s messaging division.
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What are your thoughts? Is Facebook ready for competition on its own turf? Is Facebook even an appropriate platform for conducting payments? Let us know in the comment section below.