Amidst all the backlashes and controversies, Facebook is pushing for its own payment platform. While the in-house “Libra” cryptocurrency has seen a boatload of fumbles and is at a crossroads regarding its next step, the company launched “Facebook Pay” yesterday. It is a digital payment solution using which users will be able to make payments on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. However, it is not associated with the “Calibra” wallet that runs on the aforementioned Libra network.
How does it work?
Facebook Pay has been integrated into the core Facebook apps and thus doesn’t require an additional application. First, you got to connect your PayPal account or add your credit or debit card. After this, the service will be available across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp if you choose to. That means Facebook will not automatically make the service available across the apps unless you specifically choose to.
What to use it for?
Facebook points out 3 main use-cases for Facebook Pay:
- Send money to friends and family
- Pay for goods and services to businesses, and in the Facebook Marketplace
- Donate for different causes (fundraisers)
For verifying payments, you can use PIN or biometrics options available on your device. However, Facebook says it won’t receive or store your biometric data. Similarly, you get a notification instantaneously after making one. Then, you can choose whether to share the transaction on your timeline or not. Additionally, the transaction history can be viewed from all apps on which the user has activated the service.
Is it secure though?
Let’s address the elephant in the room – privacy and security. Now, Facebook evidently doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to users’ data and privacy. So, it is only natural to doubt its any and all products from that angle. From the looks of it, the company is really trying hard to erase or wash-out the bad reputation it has to make Facebook Pay a success. However, only time will tell just how secure it is.
Facebook has implemented “anti-fraud monitoring” technology that scours through the system to detect any unauthorized activity. As for your data, the company says users’ PayPal or card data will be stored separately & won’t be shared with any third party. They’ll remain secure with Facebook’s advanced data storage facilities and encryption methods.
Okay, Mr. Zuckerberg. Okay.
The company is also doubling down on gaining users’ trust by employing customer support for any sort of complications. You can contact them via live chat or email.
Currently, Facebook Pay is only available in the US on Facebook and Messenger. Facebook is apparently taking it slow by releasing the service to a small set of countries and apps first, with “intention to bring this service to more people over time”. With all the negative press and the growing public awareness about their privacy and data security, Facebook Pay is a tough sell.