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Facebook Messenger users can now make in-app payments

A new service promising "a truly mobile commerce experience" has been created in the US by PayPal-owned payments company, Braintree.

Braintree's tokenisation technology is underpinning a new tool that allows Facebook Messenger users in the US to order and pay for an Uber taxi from directly within the app. In a blog post, Braintree's general manager Juan Benitez says the feature "is just a natural extension of businesses being present and actionable on Messenger".

Benitez also suggests the move is a step towards "contextual commerce", and argues that it is well timed, based on increased mobile commerce adoption and the significant growth in on-demand services.

"Only Braintree and PayPal together have the powerful array of vault and tokenisation capabilities that make these use cases possible, and we are excited for the commerce opportunities we will be able to deliver together," he added.

P.J. Linarducci, head of payment products at Facebook, remarked: "We are excited to partner with Braintree to offer users increased convenience, flexibility, and security."

Facebook Messenger has over 700 million users, and there is clearly potential for other third-party services providers or retailers to follow Uber's lead and offer in-app payment services in the future.

The new Uber link-up comes as social media companies such as Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – as well as Facebook – have been introducing buy buttons on their platforms to cater for consumers' impulse purchases and serve an ever-growing social media user base.

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