Facebook's payments foray in India: Launches beta version of recharge on Messenger

The platform will be separate from WhatsApp and will allow peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant payments.
Facebook's payments foray in India: Launches beta version of recharge on Messenger
Facebook's payments foray in India: Launches beta version of recharge on Messenger
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The digital payments segment is attracting a lot of interest from various quarters. Facebook, which had launched the online payment feature through its messaging app WhatsApp in India only recently, is now getting into its own version of digital payment mechanism, reports FactorDaily.

The process is still in the beta version and will operate independently of WhatsApp Pay. The social media platform already has many businesses active on its platform displaying their products and services, but there is no mechanism for the members to directly place an order, make the payment and complete a purchase. This will now become possible with the Facebook Marketplace, apart from Facebook Messenger facilitating such transactions, once the payments module is integrated.

A peer-to-peer money transfer will also be enabled through this payment facility on Facebook. With the Indian internet using population being considered the second largest in the world, next only to China and Facebook enjoying one of the highest concentrations of its memberships in the country, it should prove win-win for all the stakeholders. This, despite the situation Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are currently going through, following the data sharing scandal.

Facebook Messenger is where the payments feature is being tested with the easier recharge facility for mobile phones and other services and based on the response the company will build the business.

Observers point out that the user base that Facebook enjoys will be definitely of help in its efforts to scale up the online payments business. It will pave the way for an income stream as well. Mobile payments are also projected to grow by leaps and bounds. A figure like $13 trillion being the value of transactions through mobile devices in China last year sounds incredible but true. Facebook does not have much of a presence in that country and most of this would have been handled by WeChat.

In India, the figure might be much lower but there is one estimate which says it could reach around $1 trillion by the year 2023. But being the latest entrant Facebook will have to contend with players like Paytm, Google Tez, Amazon Pay and PhonePe. Each of these have solid backers; Paytm has Alibaba, PhonePe belongs to Flipkart and the power of Google and Amazon does not have to be stated. So, the battle lines will be drawn and hopefully the average middle-income user should become the beneficiary.

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