Facebook Explores Payments And Commerce

Facebook’s Diversification

Facebook is looking at expanding its presence in the e-commerce and Payments segments to drive revenue growth. For quite some time, Facebook was planning on launching a cryptocurrency of its own. But it has put those plans on hold and instead launched Facebook Pay in the US last November. The payment service will leverage Facebook’s existing financial infrastructure and partnerships to help simplify and unify payment processing across Facebook and Messenger apps.

Facebook realizes that people already use payments across its apps to shop, donate and remit money. Facebook Pay will make those transactions easier and secure. Users will be able to choose the apps they want to use Facebook Pay on and will be able to view payment history, update settings, or manage payment methods, all in one place. Facebook Pay will support most major credit and debit cards and PayPal. Payments on the service are being processed in partnership with companies like PayPal and Stripe.

Facebook plans to extend the service to WhatsApp Payments, which will allow users to send money as quickly and easily as sending a message. Facebook got approval to test the service with 1 million people in India in 2018. Inspired by its success in the region, it is looking at launching the service in other geographies.

Besides payments, commerce is another big focus area for Facebook. It is working on services that will simplify the use of Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shopping. It is investing in providing services that will help small businesses set up storefronts, engage with customers, address product and payment concerns, and ultimately support themselves. For instance, to simplify the shopping process for small businesses, Facebook launched Checkout on Instagram with a small closed beta early last year to allow small businesses to sell directly to the viewer through the app. The service was well liked and now they have hundreds of businesses in the US experimenting with Checkout.

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Sramana Mitra is the founder of One Million by One Million (1M/1M), a global virtual incubator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs ...

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