Facebook Debuts Payments System For Its Platform, Apps

Facebook unveiled Facebook Pay, a system to enable payments across its own platform as well as Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. The user will be able to send money to people, shop and donate to fundraisers. According to the company, Facebook Pay, which is completely separate from the company’s newly released Calibra wallet and Libra cryptocurrency network, is built on “existing financial infrastructure and partnerships.” Facebook Pay for Facebook and Messenger will debut in the U.S. this week.

The Verge reports that Facebook Pay “will initially be available for fundraisers, person-to-person payments, event tickets, in-game purchases, and some purchases from pages and businesses that operate on Facebook’s Marketplace.” Facebook Pay, which will accept “most debit and credit cards and PayPal,” uses Stripe, Pay Pal “and others to process these payments.”

Users can access Facebook Pay via the settings section of the apps. “Over time, we plan to bring Facebook Pay to more people and places, including for use across Instagram and WhatsApp,” said Facebook vice president of marketplace and commerce Deborah Liu.

Facebook has not yet revealed when the system will be available across all its apps nor when it will roll out in other countries. PayPal, which supports Facebook Pay, recently withdrew from the company’s Libra Association, which oversees Libra’s creation and launch. But according to Liu, Facebook Pay is a more traditional system and is part of the company’s “ongoing work to make commerce more convenient, accessible and secure for people on our apps.”

On its own site, Facebook described Facebook Pay as intending to “provide people with a convenient, secure and consistent payment experience.” Facebook will not automatically install Facebook Pay; the user must opt to set up Facebook Pay, either across all apps or on an app-by-app basis. Payment history and methods are available in one place, and customer support will be provided via live chat in the U.S. With regard to security, Facebook noted that it has “processed more than $2 billion in donations alone since we launched our first fundraising tools in 2015.”

Facebook Pay will “securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring on our systems to detect unauthorized activity and provide notifications for account activity,” and the user “can also add a PIN or use your device biometrics, such as touch or face ID recognition, for an extra layer of security.”