In a departure from their roots as the internets premier destination for posting adorable pictures of children and ill-advised pictures of drinking, Facebook is making and entry into the payments industry with remittances and electronic money.
The social media behemoth is weeks away from receiving regulatory approval in Ireland to become an “e-money” institution. This status would allow Facebook to store money, and use it to pay and exchange money with others. The e-money would be valid throughout Europe through “passporting.” The company has limited money exchange capacity within the U.S., but it is limited to app developers who are paid in-site for their work.
“Facebook wants to become a utility in the developing world, and remittances are a gateway drug to financial inclusion,” said a person familiar with the company’s strategy told the Financial Times.
Facebook’s move comes and international internet players like Alibaba and domestic tech competitors like Google are also racing to become payments platforms.
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