While Libra faces hurdles, Zuckerberg launches Facebook Pay
Priya Wadhwa
10x Industry

While Libra faces hurdles, Zuckerberg launches Facebook Pay

Facebook is becoming an unstoppable force.

Facebook has consistently been in the news for its Libra project. While the US and EU regulators have major concerns about the cryptocurrency-powered digital wallet that will ease cross-border payments, Libra has also lost most of its financial partners’ support; from Paypal, Visa, Mastercard to Stripe and Mercado Pago.

However, the trend of tech giants entering the financial sector has been welcomed by customers. Just take the launch of Apple Card for example, even though it is facing sexism issues. And the market potential is humungous with major parts of the world still not having access to banking and financial services.

While some of the cryptocurrency backed projects play in the grey area, FinTech services that facilitate transactions, such as WeTransfer, PayTM, PayPal and others, are regulated, and free to do business.

Facebook has taken exactly this strategy to venture into the finance space. While it continues to face the wrath of US regulators, it has now launched Facebook Pay that will enable users to make payments through its platform, which is deemed safer compared to unknown third-party vendors that sell on Facebook marketplaces, through WhatsApp and Instagram.

Facebook Pay will work on Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, and can be used for a number of transactions, be it paying money to friends, buying items, or even donating money to charities or welfare groups.

For those in the US, here is how you can use it:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Facebook Pay” on the Facebook app or website

  2. Add a payment method

  3. The next time you make a payment, use Facebook Pay

Facebook Pay will begin rolling out on Facebook and Messenger this week in the US for fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace. And over time, we plan to bring Facebook Pay to more people and places, including for use across Instagram and WhatsApp.

Facebook Pay is making it more convenient for users on its platforms to make transactions, without leaving the applications. A few clicks and it is done.

The service is currently only launched in the US for Facebook and Messenger. Should that not face regulatory hurdles, it could see being rolled out across its platforms and introduced in other countries.

Besides the manoeuvre to enter the FinTech sector, it is interesting to note that Facebook Pay is supported by major debit and credit cards as well as PayPal and Stripe — the Libra supporters who backed out.