The new payment feature will initially be made available for users in the US, the firm announced in a blog post. To avail this feature, users will need to register debit cards to send or receive payments through Messenger.

"We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you. We use layers of software and hardware protection that meet the highest industry standards," the post read.

After registering the debit card, users can tap a dollar icon while talking to a friend, enter the amount and send the money.

"These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe," the blog post said.

The new feature will initially be available for Android and iOS Messenger apps as well as the messaging section on Facebook. The Messenger app has 500 million monthly active users.

Facebook's other mobile messaging app WhatsApp has 700 million active users.