Facebook is adding to its array of payment options with the launch of Facebook Pay, its own online payment system for use across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook currently allows users to send money to each other through the Messenger app. With Facebook Pay, people can store their payment information for use across Facebook's family of apps.
Facebook Pay will roll out first on Facebook and Messenger, starting this week in the US. Initially, Facebook Pay will let users shop, make in-game purchases, donate to causes and send person-to-person payments on Messenger.
Eventually the system will make its way to Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook Pay supports most major credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal. Facebook is using PayPal, Stripe and others to handle payment processing.
Facebook made a point to highlight the security efforts behind Facebook Pay, detailing its security and data collection practices in two separate blog posts.
"We designed Facebook Pay to securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring on our systems to detect unauthorized activity and provide notifications for account activity," the company said. "You can also add a PIN or use your device biometrics, such as touch or face ID recognition, for an extra layer of security when sending money or making a payment. Facebook does not receive or store your device's biometric information."
However, Facebook acknowledged that transaction information will be used for ad targeting, although users can opt out of being added to email marketing lists from businesses.
Facebook was also keen to note that Facebook Pay is separate from Calibra and the Libra network, the company's beleaguered cryptocurrency effort.
- Facebook's rebrand and the chilling calculation behind it
- Facebook agrees to pay £500,000 fine over Cambridge Analytica
- Facebook's Zuckerberg questioned on Libra, political ads, and online pornography
- Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe drop out of Facebook's Libra project
- Told you so: Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency is a bad idea (and now its partners know it, too)