Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) might be making plans to extend Messenger’s payment services so that Facebook Users can also pay for goods purchased online.
The Messenger from the social network giant already allows users to send money to friends but extending the service to allow for e-commerce payments might be the next step for the firm. This means Facebook will join the numerous firms that offer mobile payment services such as Android Pay from Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Pay from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Facebook’s efforts suggest that Messenger is on its way to becoming a mobile hub for peer to peer payments, customer service, purchase of goods, arranging a ride and so much more. Hints about the company’s plans for mobile shopping were found in Messenger’s software code. The code has directions for direct payments through the app meaning users would just pay using Messenger when they purchase goods at the store.
Messenger has about 800 million users, and the large user base is enough to encourage merchants to accept payments through the app. Some of the few retailers that support Messenger include Zulily and Everlane. However, they only use the app for customer service and order management. They are yet to start accepting payments through the app. Sources also suggest that Facebook is also working on bringing more retailers on board so that they can use Messenger to communicate to shoppers about purchases and deliveries.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had previously denied that the company had plans to make money from transactions. However, it has been reported that there are plans to include ads in messages between the businesses and the users. This will most likely happen at the beginning of June. Zuckerberg had announced in January that the company’s plans with Messenger were to use it to eliminate the friction that exists in making transactions. Facebook has been relatively quiet about the matter and has not made any comments so far. Facebook’s policy is to keep a tight lid on details until products are fully formed.