Social platforms and chat apps are integrating peer-to-peer payment options

For Generations Y and Z, digital currency feels more real than cash, which is starting to take on a Monopoly money aura. More than half are already using or are interested in using peer-to-peer payment systems like Venmo and Square, and more offerings are emerging as consumers continue to migrate away from traditional financial tools towards more convenient, social options.


WeChat is seeing expansive growth in its payment service WeChatPay, which allows for peer-to-peer payments as well as with affiliated online and offline retailers. This summer, the company also began partnering with SF-based startup Stripe to open up access to customers in China. Businesses that use Stripe can now accept WeChat (as well as Alipay) as a payment method on their websites. Stripe provides software that lets businesses accept payments online, and offers tools to help with data security, fraud prevention, accounting, and billing.


Two years after introducing peer-to-peer payment within Facebook Messenger, the company began facilitating group payments, too. Users can charge or pay each member of a group chat, making it easy to split the bill for things like group birthday gifts or restaurant bills. As of October, those with a PayPal account can also use Facebook Messenger to send money to a friend by pressing the blue plus icon, selecting the green payments button, and choosing PayPal as their funding source. The move opens up payment options for the more than 1.2 billion people who use Facebook Messenger.


Launched in 2014, Snapchat’s “Snapcash” payment option didn’t immediately take off as a popular P2P payment method, but the company’s engineers more recently added the PayPal software development kit to iOS and Android versions of the app. Though functionality is still unclear, the move could be to improve P2P capabilities, allow users to purchase Spectacles directly from the app, or even permit instant product purchase through ads displayed within the app.