Facebook Launches Financial Group for Payments

Aug 19, 2020FinTech, News

Facebook recently revealed a new group called Facebook Financial to seek more commerce opportunities and run all payments projects, including Facebook Pay, the universal payments feature that the company plans to install on all of its apps. David Marcus, co-creator of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra, will run the initiative, referred to as F2 internally.

“We have a lot of commerce stuff across Facebook,” Marcus said, according to a Bloomberg article highlighting the initiative. “It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments.”

The move comes as the company has been making efforts to integrate its products, allowing  users to make purchases on WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hopes that if payments grow across all apps, Facebook’s advertising will increase and users will spend more time on the apps. Stephanie Kasriel, former Upwork Inc. Chief Executive Officer, was hired as the payments vice president under Marcus.

As a payments veteran, Marcus will continue to be in charge of Novi, the department responsible for building a digital wallet for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. Additionally, he will work with the WhatsApp payment efforts in India and Brazil, where regulation has hindered the company’s efforts to build influence for WhatsApp in a commercial context.

Marcus joined Facebook in 2014 from his job as president of PayPal Holding, Inc., initially running Messenger for four years before working on Libra. More recently, he was trying to build Libra’s potential to facilitate cross border payments, which required negotiations with regulators.

“It’s helpful to have specific expertise in financial services regulation to build things the right way from the get-go,” Marcus said. “In the financial services world, it’s very different than traditional technological companies that are not regulated.”

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