Mobile Payments

Is Facebook Prepping An In-Store Payments Play?

Recently discovered code within Facebook’s Messenger app hints at the company’s plans to give the platform capabilities on par with Apple Pay.

As shared by AppleInsider, The Information has revealed, via an exploration of the code within the Messenger app, that Facebook possibly has designs on allowing users to pay for purchases within the app, both in person or when picking up items previously ordered.

According to AppleInsider, Facebook currently has a sizable team at work implementing Messenger with the ability to authorize credit card transactions, which will turn what is, at this point, a rumor into a reality.

The precise details of how this will all happen have yet to be shared by Facebook, but the outlet points to statements made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg back in January that alluded to the possibility of partnering with a company like Apple to enable in-app purchases within Messenger.

“We’ll partner with everyone who does payments,” Zuckerberg said at the time. “We look at the stuff that Apple is doing with Apple Pay, for example, as a really neat innovation in the space that takes a lot of friction out of transactions as well.”

Should a potential partnership between Facebook and Apple fail to materialize (by choice or by happenstance), AppleInsider posits that a payments-enabled Messenger could emerge as a competitor to Apple Pay — which, the outlet notes, is currently leading Samsung Pay and Android Pay in the mobile wallet space that is gaining in popularity among consumers overall.

Regardless of what may come of enabling in-app payments within Facebook Messenger, AppleInsider points out that Apple is making some moves of its own with Apple Pay, such as integrating the mobile wallet into websites through its Safari browser, a service that is expected to roll out later this year.

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