When people were crying out for alternative payment processors online, one launched by one of the world's largest tech monopolies probably wasn't what they had in mind.
But Facebook has today launched a new payment system called Facebook Pay.
The system is available across the entire Facebook family – Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and the idea is to help process payments across Facebook’s social platforms and apps.
Similar to Cash App and Venmo, with Facebook Pay, users can send money to friends, shop for products, and even donate to fundraising schemes – something that Facebook has long been integrated with.
While today's news comes just weeks after payment processors Visa and Mastercard turned their backs on Facebook's Libra project, Facebook Pay is a separate scheme that, according to the company is, “built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships.”
According to the company, with Facebook Pay users can:
- Add their preferred payment method once then use Facebook Pay, where available, to make payments and purchases on our apps, instead of having to re-enter their payment information each time
- Set up Facebook Pay app-by-app, or choose to set it up for use across apps (where available) — that means they won't automatically set up Facebook Pay across the apps users are active on, unless they choose to do so
- View payment history, manage payment methods and update their settings in one place
- Get real-time customer support via live chat in the US (and in more places around the world in the future)
- Clearly understand which payment services are part of Facebook
Facebook will roll out Facebook Pay on both Messenger and Facebook in the United States this week, and it initially will only be available for fundraisers, person-to-person payments, in-game purchases, and some sales from businesses that operate on Facebook’s Marketplace.