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PayPal tightens integrations with Facebook Messenger

PayPal said it will begin rolling out as a payment option on Facebook Messenger in the US.

PayPal is expanding its ties to the Facebook Messenger platform with new services aimed at closing the gap between mobile and social commerce.

PayPal said it will begin rolling out as a payment option across more of Facebook's commerce experiences, including Messenger. Customers will be able to link their PayPal and Messenger accounts at PayPal checkout, and they'll also receive payment notifications directly within the Messenger app. For now, the Messenger integrations are rolling out in the US market only.

PayPal is pitching the integration as a way for merchants to build relationships with its more than 192 million active users across the globe. The payments giant is also pushing the integration as a way for merchants to implement contextual commerce and provide a mobile-optimized experience to shoppers.

PayPal's previous efforts with Facebook include a partnership between its subsidiary Braintree and Uber which allows customers to hail and pay for an Uber ride directly from the Messenger app.

"We've also helped merchants purchase Facebook ads, helped consumers buy headsets and content from Oculus, and continue to help PayPal-enabled businesses sell products directly from the Shop section of their Facebook Page," said Bill Ready, EVP and chief operating officer at PayPal, in a blog post.

For Facebook's part, the social network is also working with Stripe, Visa, MasterCard and American Express for integrated Messenger payments.

In a similar effort announced last month, Facebook enabled a "Buy Now" button that allows merchants to sell products from within bots on the Messenger platform. At the time, Facebook VP David Marcus said the social network was working with several payment companies, including PayPal, to expand the service.