Social media giant Facebook is strengthening its push into the FinTech space by announcing the launch of Facebook Pay, a new way to shop, donate and transfer cash across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Instead of entering their details on each platform, with Facebook Pay people only need to enter it once and then use it across the Facebook family of platforms. It will also enable customers to view their payment history and get live customer support.
Although, that last service will initially only be available in the US, with the service promised to be rolled out in other countries in the future.
Facebook Pay will be introduced in the US on Facebook and Messenger this week. From the start, it will be available for fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace.
The news comes after Facebook has struggled for months with another project: the cryptocurrency initiative Libra. While not just a Facebook project, the Menlo Park company has spearheaded the initiative and is part of the Libra Association, the Switzerland-based organisation behind Libra.
Even though the digital currency has been presented as a way to democratise access to financial services around the world, it has been met by pushback from pundits and politicians alike.
Regulators and lawmakers around the world have spent the months since the cryptocurrency was announced in June to express their concerns about what a private currency like Libra could mean for nations’ monetary sovereignty and people’s privacy.
Some initial members of the Libra Association abandoned the project as the scrutiny increased. Stripe, PayPal and eBay are among the companies that have jumped ship.
Last month, it got to the point where Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, had to endure a six-hour grilling by Congress, trying to explain why he believed Libra was a good project and why lawmakers and regulators should trust Facebook to lead it.
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