Snapchat is to introduce a new payment feature to its popular app.
The social platform, which was founded in 2011 and currently has around 100 million users each month, will first launch its Snapcash service in the U.S.
The feature will only be available to those over the age of 18, and will be run in conjuncture with Square, a company that already offers services to facilitate payment processing.
Snapchat allows for its users to send brief videos and pictures, along with a short message to selected friends, which will vanish after a little while. However, the company had already made moves earlier this year to establish itself as an online news provider, along with allowing for adverts. Therefore, this new feature could be seen as further proof of the monetisation of the popular app.
The service would operate in a way reportedly similar to other money transfer systems, such as PayPal and Venmo. Users would have to enter their bank details into the platform, which would create an account with Square, before sending a private message to a fellow user with the amount they want to send included. A green confirmation button would have to be pressed before any transfer could go ahead.
However, as Snapchat has received some criticism for data protection in the past, such as the hacking of 4.6 million accounts in January and allegations that the platform had misled users by not informing them that ‘snaps’ could be saved, some may remain cautious about using the service.