Social media giant Facebook Tuesday announced the launch of its own payment platform - Facebook Pay. The payment gateway can be operated through Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp.
"People already use payments across our apps to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other," the company said in a blog posted on its website. "Facebook Pay will make these transactions easier while continuing to ensure your payment information is secure and protected," it added.
However, Facebook Pay is not connected to its proposed cryptocurrenty Libra. The payment service will enable its users to input a preferred payment method which can be ultimately used on all related apps. Facebook Pay is currently available only in the US, but the company plans to launch it in other countries too in future.
Facebook Pay comes before WhatsApp Pay which is likely to be rolled out in India by December end.
What is Facebook Pay?
Facebook and Instagram let users sell products on their platforms. Where Facebook has a dedicated marketplace, Instagram is in the process of expanding its shopping feature. Facebook intends to use the pay feature to make transactions on these platforms smoother. Users won't have to re-enter payment information each time they shop.
Users can also set up Facebook Pay app-by-app. This means the service is not activated automatically across the apps users are active on, unless they choose to do so. Users can also view their payment history, manage payment modes as well as update (or make changes to) their settings in one place. Facebook Pay will provide real-time customer support for its new service (via live chat in the US).
Facebook Pay is compatible with majority of credit and debit cards as well as PayPal, Stripe and others around the world.
Users can also add an extra layer of security while making payments online or sending money. They can do so by adding a PIN or use their device biometrics, such as touch or face ID recognition. Facebook also doesn't receive or store users' biometric information.
How to use Facebook Pay?
1. Visit Facebook's website.
2. Select "Settings" on the website.
3. Then, choose the option "Facebook Pay"
4. Select and add a payment mode
How is it different from WhatsApp Pay?
Even though Facebook has launched Fabook Pay in the US, the social media giant's e-wallet plans, especially in India, revolves around WhatsApp Pay. That's because it has a huge WhatsApp user base in India. But, the rollout hasn't happened yet due to regulatory issues. It's unclear if Facebook intends to launch both Facebook Pay and WhatsApp pay in India just yet.
Unlike Facebook Pay which seems more of an integration of cross-platform services, WhatsApp pay will be a peer-to-peer, unified payment interface (UPI) based service that will enable users to transfer money within the instant messaging app. WhatsApp Pay has been made available to select users as part of its beta trials. Users will be able to link their UPI accounts to WhatsApp and then transact with other users accordingly.
WhatsApp pay will be compatible with all major banks in India such as ICICI, Airtel Payments Bank, State Bank of India (SBI), Axis Bank, HDFC. Users can also transfer money with UPI ID and OR codes. WhatsApp as and when launched, would compete against the likes of Paytm, PhonePe and Google Pay.