Facebook’s AI To Boost P2P, Still Through Existing Rails [Video]

Facebook’s AI assistant, dubbed M, will begin to appear in your Messenger chats, “suggesting” things like sharing your location or requesting a ride.

The digital assistant was in a testing mode since December of last year, and is now available to all Messenger users in the U.S., the social media giant said yesterday.

Sending and requesting payments is another feature M offers: “M recognizes when people are discussing payments and gives them the option of easily sending or requesting money,” according to a company statement. In other words, if you write “I owe you $20” M will suggest you use Messenger’s P2P payments feature to complete the transaction.

The assistant–as well as Messenger’s P2P payments service–is free, and is certainly posed to drive more payments via the company’s payments channel.

Facebook, however, insists on its “partnering, rather than disrupting” strategy.

“We have a partnership strategy where we can add value [to companies] to enable experiences on our platform, but we don’t want to be those companies,” Kahina Van Dyke, Facebook’s global director of commerce and payment partnerships said recently. “We are very upfront, and that’s how we were able to do partnerships with PayPal, for example.”

She added that Messenger is an important platform for social payments. “What’s important is that we are sending that money from my debit card to your debit card, so we are leveraging the existing banking infrastructure instead of trying to replace it.”

Watch Van Dyke’s presentation at the recent Bank Innovation 2017 event below:

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