Facebook Inc. is consolidating its multiple payment capabilities into a single product under a new name, with plans to implement it across all company applications.
Facebook Pay is a new form of payment in social networking applications, the company said on Tuesday. You can now make payments in the form of donations and in-app purchases on various Facebook-owned products, and you will soon be able to do so on Facebook apps through a system that will store user credit and debit cards.
The change comes when Facebook is integrating its services, especially messaging apps, so users can easily move between apps and understand that Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger belong to the same company.
Facebook introduced a new corporate brand earlier this month to clarify which products it owns, and the company is unifying its three messaging services so users of one can send messages to others.
Some critics say these efforts are a way for Facebook to defend itself against a possible disruption. The company is under antitrust scrutiny by several regulators, and the idea of unifying its brand and messaging and payment products can be an effort to prevent regulators from trying to break up parts of Facebook's empire.
People will not be able to use Facebook Pay to hold money, but they can use it to store credit or debit card information for ease of use.
Existing payment partners, such as Stripe Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc., will continue to process payments to the Menlo Park, California company. Facebook is launching Facebook Pay on its main social network and Messenger in the US starting this week, with plans to bring it to Instagram and WhatsApp as well.
Facebook is also building a separate digital wallet called Calibra to store and spend its proposed digital pound currency. This wallet does not yet exist and a Facebook spokeswoman said it is a separate effort from Facebook Pay.