Looks like Facebook has beat Whatsapp to the punch by releasing a person-to-person payment system in Messenger. Recently, news surfaced that Whatsapp is hiring people in India to build and develop a payment system where you can pay your friends through the app. Whatsapp was planning to only release it in India as based on their stats, India has the largest amount of Whatsapp users.
How this works, you would need to create a group conversation with your friends, and someone from the group could initiate a request to ask the group members to pay a certain amount, due to a certain reason. The app can then track who has paid and who has not, and can give you an update on the payment status of the entire group. The app will also allow the person requesting for payment, to select individual members of the group chat for the payment and not only the entire group.
This new tool from Messenger is not the first of its kind, as WeChat has already implemented this feature awhile back. But perhaps, this is a testing environment for it to be ported over to Whatsapp as Facebook owns Whatsapp, and it would make the development of this feature on Whatsapp smoother. This feature is only available in US but let’s hope it releases worldwide as this would make organizing surprise birthday parties so much easier.