Not long after revealing its new, inclusive, and color-shifting corporate logo, Facebook is taking another step toward unifying its various social media applications through Facebook Pay, a payment system like Venmo that will work across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps. With Facebook Pay, the company says the payment process will become easier for its users to buy and sell things online, and it will help businesses to grow.
Facebook is no stranger when it comes to processing payments. Since 2015, the company has allowed its Messenger users to send money to each other, and members have been able to make donations and perform transactions inside the Facebook app for goods and services. After Facebook Pay finishes fully rolling out across all the apps, the company envisions a simpler and easier experience for its users by providing them with a single place to handle financial information: managing different payment methods, viewing payment history, and chatting with customer service in real-time. Users will also save some time by entering a preferred payment method once then using Facebook Pay to make payments and purchases, instead of re-entering their payment information each time.
Starting this week in the US, Facebook Pay will roll out first for the company’s two core apps: Facebook and Messenger. Although no specific time table was provided, the company said the integration of Facebook Pay into WhatsApp and Instagram are coming over time, before spreading out to more people and places. To begin using Facebook Pay on Facebook or Messenger, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Facebook Pay on the Facebook app or website.
- Add a payment method.
- The next time you make a payment, select Facebook Pay.
As expected, most major credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal, are supported and payments are processed in partnership with companies like PayPal, Stripe, and others around the world. The company claims Facebook Pay is strongly secured, paired with anti-fraud measures and support for PIN/biometric security. With Facebook Pay, the company is taking a similar approach as Google, who integrates Google Wallet/Pay into many of its apps.
Although a unified payment feature like Facebook Pay will indeed make people’s lives simpler, Facebook likely wants to emulate the success of WeChat and gain a new source of revenue — as much as $21 billion by 2021 — by offering secure payment options to its massive number of users.