SAN FRANCISCO – Facebook wants to be your new payment system. Will you trust it with your money?
On Tuesday, the social media giant unveiled a new payment system that will work across Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram in a direct challenge to Apple Pay and PayPal's Venmo and in much the way WeChat, China’s “app for everything,” does.
With Facebook Pay, Facebook says users will be able to shop at merchants or send money or make donations to one another across its trio of apps in a move that even more deeply integrates those apps with Facebook's main platform. Currently, users can only send money through Messenger, though the company is testing purchases on Instagram in the U.S.
Whether to use Facebook Pay or not is up to the users of its platforms, the company says.
"You can set up Facebook Pay app-by-app or choose to set it up for use across apps (where available). That means we won’t automatically set up Facebook Pay across the apps you are active on, unless you choose to do so," Erin Egan, vice president and chief privacy officer, public policy, said in a statement.