Facebook’s Messenger application, which now boasts a billion users, is introducing new capabilities that will make it possible to pay for goods and services through Messenger or through “bots,” or automated programs, that use the messaging app.
David Marcus, VP of messaging products at Facebook, said at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference that the company was working with a number of payment providers including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Stripe to implement the features.
More details on the upcoming services weren’t immediately available, but the move likely signals a larger move by the company into the payments space. Facebook-owned WhatsApp already offers the ability for uses in some countries to send money to one another, and rival Snapchat has a Snapcash feature for transferring funds (ironically, we recently wrote about how Facebook’s new strategy is to try and copy many of Snapchat’s popular features).
Offering payments via Messenger is just one more way that Facebook is attempting to be the all-encompassing hub for users’ digital lives.
Facebook shares rose $0.94 (+0.74%) to $128.04 in Monday afternoon trading. Year-to-date, FB has gained 22.18%, nearly tripling the return of the benchmark S&P 500 in the same period.