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Serve to allow payments on the Facebook website

American Express has launched a Facebook application that will allow users to send payments to each other for free without leaving the Facebook website.

The Serve application allows users to select a Facebook friend and request money, and the requested amount appears on the recipient’s wall. Then, the recipient can pay the amount through the Serve app if they are a registered Serve user. Users must enter a PIN number to send money through the Serve app.

PayPal instituted a similar Send Money app through Facebook in November that allows users to send money for free as long as the payment is tied to a PayPal or bank account. Sending money via credit card costs 2.9 percent plus 30 cents, and either the payer or sender pays, according to GigaOM.

The two programs have some differences. While Send Money sends users to PayPal to complete a payment and requires the recipient’s email address, Serve populates friend lists within the app and conducts all payments through Facebook. Serve users can also create customizable widgets to raise money, sell an item or establish a charity, while Send Money users can attach an e-card, picture or video.

“The way people exchange money is evolving, and so is Serve,” Dan Schulman, the group president of Enterprise Growth at American Express, said, GigaOM reports. “We’re constantly working to bring our customers a seamless and consistent payment experience – one that makes sense for our increasingly social lives, whether that’s paying a friend back for movie tickets or sending someone money for your share of the vacation house – it can now be sent on Facebook.”

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