Facebook and payments have a difficult ongoing relationship. In May 2019, the social media giant is taking another swing at the service with cryptocurrency, but what has it tried before?
Dubbed GlobalCoin, the new offering is expected to be made available in around 12 countries by the first quarter of 2020 following a trial later this year.
Facebook users will be able to convert dollars and other international currencies into the new cryptocurrency.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has discussed the project with Bank of England governor Mark Carney as well as the US Treasury to ensure compliance with regulations.
In addition, the value of the new cryptocurrency will be pegged to various fiat currencies such as the US dollar, Japanese yen, and Euro.
Moreover, Facebook is in negotiations with several online merchants to accept the currency as payment in lieu of lower transaction fees.
Facebook and cryptocurrency payments are not anything new as nearly a decade ago, the it launched Facebook Credits, enabling users to buy items in apps. The project was later terminated.
Facebook, payments and Whatsapp?
Facebook picked London as the hub for the development of its WhatsApp mobile payment feature. WhatsApp is popular in the UK, as well as other countries such as India, and intends to hire around 100 software engineers to develop the payment feature.
The majority of the newly-appointed staff will operate out of London, with the remainder based in Dublin.
These employees will be tasked with developing the payments feature while addressing safety and spam concerns.
The WhatsApp payments have already been tested in India, but launch has been delayed due to regulatory issues.
Don’t shoot the Messenger
The move will come into action from 15 June 2019, but the company did not say which factors led to the decision.
However, a message from a company spokesperson indicated that the service was not too popular with customers.
The spokesperson said: “After evaluating how we give people the best experiences in Messenger, we made the decision to focus our efforts on experiences that people find most useful.
“Users have been notified in preparation for this change.”
Through the service, which was first launched in the US in 2015, one can send and receive payments on Messenger.
Furthermore, all users need to do is enter their card details and the amount they intend to send.
The service was also made available in the UK in November 2017.
It is not yet clear whether the P2P service will be continued in the US.
So there has been a mix of success and failure when it comes to Facebook and payments. What is obvious is that Facebook is not giving up. The behemoth already owns our photos and updates, why not own our payments as well?