Facebook Messenger has offered ways to send payments to friends for quite some time now, but the service could be expanding in a big way soon.
Based on a report published by The Information, code found within the Facebook Messenger reveals some grandiose plans for the messaging client, including allowing users to bypass credit card terminals at retail stores, and instead use the app as a means of a point-of-sale. That would allow customers using the messaging app to “pay in person,” according to the report. The app would essentially authorize the credit card purchase, while they’re buying products in a physical retail store.
Facebook reportedly has a large team in place working on this functionality. However, it’s unknown at this point just how the service will work. It isn’t a secret that Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has laid out ideas where mobile payment options, including Apple Pay, could be used to enable a payment service, so this seems like it could be right in line with those plans.
Nothing seems to be set in stone at this point, though, even if a team is working on the capabilities. It’s possible that Facebook can’t work out a deal with Apple, and therefore create a competitor to Apple’s mobile payment option in the process. However, if Facebook can make this work, and Apple Pay is a partner in its rollout, that would automatically expand Apple Pay’s availability as a payment option — all without retailers having to adopt the necessary terminals.
An interesting idea, so we’ll have to keep an eye out to see if it turns into anything.