Facebook takes on Venmo with new payments tool that can be used across its family of apps

RT: Mark Zuckerberg F8 Developers Conference 190430
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg makes his keynote speech during Facebook Inc’s annual F8 developers
conference in San Jose, California, U.S., April 30, 2019. Stephen Lam | Reuters

Facebook is taking on PayPal’s Venmo with a new payments service that will soon be able to be used across its family of apps.

In a blog post on Tuesday, the company said the new service, called Facebook Pay, will allow users to securely send payments to others. Facebook Pay accepts most major credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal.

Facebook already allows users to send money through the Messenger app. But with Facebook Pay, users will be able to send money via other Facebook apps. To start, it’s rolling out on the core Facebook and Messenger apps, but will be added to Instagram and WhatsApp in the future.

“People already use payments across our apps to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other,” the company said. “Facebook Pay will make these transactions easier while continuing to ensure your payment information is secure and protected.”

The company noted that Facebook Pay is separate from Calibra, its yet-to-be-launched digital wallet. Calibra is part of libra, Facebook’s controversial cryptocurrency project.

It’s also a step towards Facebook’s goal of linking its family of apps together. Earlier this year, Facebook said it’s working on a way to allow WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger users send messages to each other. Critics see the move as protection against antitrust scrutiny the company has received from government agencies and proposals to break the company up.

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