There are no real shortages when it comes to ways people can send each other money with the internet. While Venmo seems like one of the most popular choices, Facebook looks to throw its new hat in an already crowded ring.
After a slew of data security breaches, the social media giant is hoping people haven’t lost too much trust in them as the launch of Facebook Pay looms. The new in-app service will allow users to pay and request money through their chat service, Messenger testing just how much information people are willing to handover to the tech titan.
Facebook Pay, which looks to compete directly with Venmo hopes to offers users an alternative way to send money for things like in-app purchases, user-to-user payments, fundraiser donations, with a future plan to later integrate into Instagram and WhatsApp. PayPal, as well as most major credit and debit cards, are supported by the product, and Facebook says that payments can be processed through partner services like Stripe.
Facebook says that Pay will begin rolling out this week for US customers, although there is an important distinction to be made between Pay and the company’s controversial cryptocurrency Libra and their cryptocurrency wallet, Calibra.
“As with our other products, the actions you take with Facebook Pay can be used for purposes such as to deliver you more relevant content and ads, to provide customer support and to promote safety and integrity (e.g., to investigate violations of our payments policies),” a blog by the company stated. “For example, if you buy a baseball glove on Facebook Marketplace, you might see an ad for a baseball bat.”
While it will likely work best for those buying items on Marketplace or within buy/sell groups, it's difficult to imagine it surpassing the power, reliability and the overall trustworthiness attached to Venmo.
It’s interesting to note that Pay arrives shortly after Venmo owner, PayPal backed out of the consortium backing Libra, Facebook’s permissioned blockchain digital currency. Mastercard, Stripe, and Visa were also amongst the companies making a mass exodus from the Libra Association, leaving it without a major US payments company.
Despite the drama, Mark Zuckerberg declared that the company had no intentions of slowing down on developing new products even as it works to restore trust.