Lending money to a friend or loved one can quickly turn into a sticky situation — just ask Kylie Jenner! If someone owes you money and isn’t promptly paying you back, it can be difficult to breach the subject without feeling pushy or rude.

Facebook is here to intervene on your behalf, apparently, as it launched a US test of its new “Chat Assist” feature this week, which will reportedly ask lendees to cough up what they owe you, stat.

woman with piggy bank money square

Here’s how it works: Anytime you type the words, “IOU,” “you owe me” or “I owe you,” messenger will take it as a cue to not only remind the message’s recipient that, hey, no, you haven’t forgotten about that $20, but prompt them with an option to pay you back right then and there.


Genius, right?

Well… yes and no.

On the one hand, it can surely recover some of your lost funds if it merely slipped someone’s mind. Surely a friendly little reminder never hurt anyone? On the other, if it’s a delicate subject for the other person involved (i.e., they’re well aware they owe you and they just don’t have the cash flow), it can quickly turn a perfectly normal conversation south, fast.


Just like asking someone in person, the request could easily be seen as uncouth or offensive: Maybe they had every intention of paying you back, and just haven’t got paid yet, or maybe they’re saddened that you didn’t feel comfortable enough to simply come right out and ask yourself.

Our advice? Only use this app if you’re willing to say the same thing in person, face to face. Otherwise? Maybe avoid those terms in convo, if you know what we mean.

Chat Assist: helpful or tacky? Share your opinion over @BritandCo!

(h/t Elite Daily, photo via Getty, Facebook and Brit + Co)