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Mobile Payments

Facebook looking to get into the mobile wallet game

Wednesday 30 March 2016 | 11:30 AM CET

Facebook has announced that is planning to turn Messenger into a marketplace, adding a new feature to the app that will allow consumers to make in-store payments.

Some of the commands discovered in the latest version of Facebook’s Messenger app include “pay in person,” “pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item”, and “no cash needed”. The company declined to comment, making it presently unclear whether the features will ever actually see the light of day.

Previously, Facebook Messenger launched in March 2015 a feature that allows users to send money to their contacts, similar to Paypal or Venture. Although, this app did not allow users to make credit cards as payments, due to the processing fees involved.

If this new feature will be launched it will compete against companies like Apple, PayPal, Google, and Samsung, who have been in this space since as early as 2011. However, this is not the only impediment that the new feature might encounter. Facebook would need cooperation from financial institutions to create the appropriate infrastructure that can handle these transactions.

Mobile payments market is expected to grow fast, reaching USD142 billion in volume by 2019, according to research company Forrester. One of the most important factors in this growth will be consumer acceptance and the interest showed by merchants in implementing mobile payments solutions. Considering this trend, even is Facebook is willing to expand in this area it will take time until the service will be available to consumers.

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