Facebook forms centralised payments project team
The team, named F2, will be in charge of handling the research and development of all payments features across the company’s applications
Tech giant Facebook has revealed it has formed a new group dedicated to pursuing opportunities in payments and commerce. The company has appointed David Marcus, the co-creator of Libra, to lead the initiative.
Facebook Financial, known as F2 for short within the company, will be running all payment projects. This includes Facebook Pay, a future project that involves having a universal payment feature built inside all of its apps.
The company has clarified that despite this new designation within their payments project, Marcus will continue being a part of Novi, the Facebook team currently working on developing the digital wallet for holding the Libra cryptocurrency.
In addition, he will also remain part of WhatsApp’s payment efforts in countries such as India and Brazil. To supplement his work, Facebook hired former Chief Executive Officer of Upwork, Stephane Kasriel, to serve as payments vice president under Marcus.
This is Facebook’s most recent step towards making its individual products and apps more interconnected. In the previous years, the tech giant changed the branding of Instagram and WhatsApp so its users would be made aware they are now under the ownership of Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also revealed plans to integrate all of the company’s messaging services.
“We have a lot of commerce stuff going on across Facebook. It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments,” Marcus explained.
The company believes that once users can make purchases across Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, then the value of advertising on Facebook will increase and users will want to spend more time browsing through the company’s apps.
“As payments grow across Messenger and WhatsApp, and as we’re able to roll that out in more places, I think that that will only grow as a trend,” Zuckerberg said, expressing his optimism about commerce inside the messaging apps.
Marcus has had a long history of working in the payments industry and is an established executive inside the company. From his role as the President of PayPal, he joined Facebook in 2014 and oversaw Facebook Messenger for four years before his job with the Libra Project.
One of the company’s top priorities involves launching the payments system inside WhatsApp across India and Brazil. Despite the company’s investments in making the application a commerce destination in these countries, regulation has made it difficult to implement their plans.