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Facebook Messenger could be the next Apple Pay partner… or rival

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Reports on Monday suggest that Facebook is plotting to expand the Messenger app’s payment capabilities with an in-store option.

Currently, some 800 million users of the standalone app are able to make personal payments, but The Information’s sources (via Forbes) suggest Facebook’s ambitions are much greater.

Code spotted within the Messenger app offers information on how to “pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item ... with no cash needed.”

Facebook is also working with retailers to provide customer service channels for retailers, so this may be an extension of that facility.

While the platform could become an Apple Pay rival, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously expressed a desire to partner with the mobile payments platform.

"We'll partner with everyone who does payments," Zuckerberg said in January.

"We look at the stuff that Apple is doing with Apple Pay, for example, as a really neat innovation in the space that takes a lot of friction out of transactions as well."

Related: Have you seen Messenger's secret basketball game?

Elsewhere within the app, The Information found reference to "secret conversations", which is likely to be a reference to encrypted chats.

Whether these new features are being primed for a consumer launch remains to be seen.

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