New Facebook Messenger feature lets you split the bill with friends

The Facebook and Facebook Messenger logos next to each other on a laptop screen and a smartphone screen.
(Image credit: viewimage/Shutterstock)

Even between the firmest friends, money can become a sore spot, and an upcoming “free and fast” feature for Facebook Messenger aims to make interpersonal payments that bit easier to manage.

Meta has announced that a new feature called Split Payments will be coming to Facebook Messenger next week. The name pretty much says it all: it ties in with Facebook Messenger’s existing person-to-person payment feature, letting friends divide a bill with a clear UI showing who has paid up, and who is yet to send money through.

Bills can be created evenly or with unique fees for each group member — useful for charging less to the guy that rents the small room, or making the gluton who ordered the lobster pays their fair share — and the person setting up the request is free to include themselves in the sum or not.

“If you’ve struggled with dividing up (and getting paid back for) group dinners, shared household expenses or even the monthly rent, it’s about to get easier,” Meta's blog post explains. 

How Split Payments in Facebook Messenger works

“To use Split Payments, click the “Get Started” button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. From there, you can split a bill evenly or modify the contribution amount for each individual — with or without yourself included.

After entering a personalized message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, your request will be sent and viewable in your group chat thread.”  

The image below gives you an idea of how the process works:

Facebook Messenger Split Payment feature demoed

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta describes this as a feature being tested, rather than something that’s completely ready for primetime, and as such it’s starting with a US-only release. Still, the timing does at least mean that Christmas parties should be a bit easier to organize.

Split Payments for Facebook Messenger may be a little lightweight compared to the best budgeting apps, but that’s ultimately part of its charm: an easy way to track what you’re owed built into an app that people are already comfortable with. Hopefully it’ll make chasing personal debts that bit easier, without letting resentments over missed payments fester into something more ugly.

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.