Facebook has unveiled a new playbook that could become the most disruptive in the digital global economy: Facebook Financial. Sure, there is nothing new about Facebook trying to become your payment company. But what is new here is that Facebook has created a new division to take care of all things digital payments. This new division “will run all payments projects, including Facebook Pay,” concatenating across its ecosystems of Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Now, you can send money to friends and family via Facebook Pay and also pay for goods and services via Facebook Pay. Simply, when you are in the Facebook Inc ecosystem, you do not need to leave, for PayPal, Stripe, etc, to pay for things. This paytech completes a key piece Facebook needs for its ecommerce business; the logistics component remains.
Keeping Facebook users inside those apps for payments, rather than having them slip out to use Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, PayPal, Zelle, or other digital currency platforms, will help the company’s advertising bottom line. “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,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the company’s latest earnings call, according to MarketWatch.
The Novi unit and Facebook’s embattled Libra cryptocurrency will fall under the Facebook Financial umbrella. Facebook has had to shift plans for Libra after months of regulatory pressure and financial partners bailing on the effort.
Technically, Facebook Inc can do anything it wants to do because it is now a big planet of more than 4 billion people across its ecosystems. It has the demand in a world of unbounded supply, giving it the edge to create and launch these new products easily. The person who controls demand (the users) is in a greater position than one who creates supply, in the web economy.
As a global leading ICT utility, I expect Facebook Pay to support the integration and interface of largely consumer payment, and as it does that, more digital commerce will move to Facebook. This company has a Multi Play strategy, well ahead of the double play. Yes, if advertisers want to revolt, its “tax” on payment transactions will keep adding the digits for Facebook shareholders.