Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Money sharing comes to Facebook

pay per click (mouse and coins)
16,000 online traders accept payments via Buxter's parent company.

Friends on social networking site Facebook can now send small payments directly to each other via an application called Buxter.

Buxter handles transactions in Euros or US dollars, with plans to launch in Sterling in the next four weeks.

Other currencies are subject to a 5% conversion fee at the point of upload to a Buxter account.

The company behind the application is ClickandBuy which operates an online payment service across the web.

More than 13 million people across the world already have accounts with it, and a ClickandBuy account is required in order to use Buxter.

Transactions between Buxter accounts are free to make and receive but a 1.9% commission fee, minimum 2 euros or $3 (£2), is charged to move the money to another source such as a bank account.

"People share their statuses, their information and their pictures on Facebook so the question is why not share money there too?" Christian von Hammel-Bonten, senior vice president at ClickandBuy told BBC News.

The application is designed for fairly small payments (a maximum of 50 euros (£45) can be held in any one account) and transactions can only be made among people who are friends on Facebook.

Mr von Hammel-Bonten said he hoped people would use the service to pay each other for shared expenses such as cinema tickets and restaurant bills initially.

"We're not trying to compete with national banking systems. This is not somewhere to pay your gas or rent," he said.

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