Facebook today announced, that it is consolidating all of its digital payments services across platforms under a new unified entity, ‘Facebook Pay’. The common entity will be available to make payments across all of Facebook’s current line-up of social media products — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
In a statement released today, Facebook said, “People already use payments across our apps to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other. Facebook Pay will make these transactions easier while continuing to ensure your payment information is secure and protected”.
What this announcement does, is essentially rule out any further ‘Whatsapp Pay’ launch, as has been massively discussed and written about in global tech media.
The app won’t automatically be turned on across all platforms though. Facebook says that this feature can be turned on app-by-app, or be chosen to set up for use across apps (where available). What that means, it that the company won’t automatically set up Facebook Pay across the apps you are active on, unless you choose to do so
In terms of data collection, Reuters states that Facebook plans to collect user information such as payment method, date, billing and contact details when a transaction is made and that it would use the data to show targeted advertisements to users. This essential forms a part of the overall user policy.
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. US users will also start getting dedicated customer support. The social media giant further said, that it plans to bring Facebook Pay to more people and places, including for use across Instagram and WhatsApp over time. No specific timeline has been provided yet.
So will you use this ? In all certainty, not exclusively, considering the plethora of payment options available in the form of Paytm, PhonePe, Google Pay, UPI, BHIM etc. etc. etc. But Facebook Pay is perhaps not here to become your exclusive payments app. It is here to ensure seamless commerce happening across users across all of the company’s ever growing platforms. In that sense, you could be one of those natural users of the app, in case Facebook commerce is a thing for you.