Facebook Pay – Can We Trust Facebook As A Payment Platform?

We all are surrounded by technology and we have become so used to it that we can’t imagine our lives without it. One of the most amazing things technology has given us the option of making transactions online, be it account transfer, paying bills, shopping, and etc. I don’t even remember the last time I visited the bank to avail any of their services because they have provided everything on the phones / tablets / laptop / Mac.

“Facebook Pay” Announcement

This Tuesday, the most used online social media and networking service company, Facebook, Inc. launched its online payment system Facebook Pay. As per the company, it’s a convenient, secure, and consistent payment system, the users can experience across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. We will be able to use Facebook Pay to buy goods or event tickets, transfer money from one to another bank account, and etc.

Facebook Pay

                                                                                                  Image source: fbtutorial

messenger payments

                                                                                              Image source: MacRumors

People already use payments across Facebook apps to shop, donate, and transfer money. This payment system will make these transactions easier and will ensure that their payment information is secured. The most important thing is that Facebook won’t automatically set up Facebook Pay across the apps you are active on, unless you choose to do so.

Facebook Pay Features

While using Facebook Pay, you can:

  • Add your preferred payment method and use Facebook Pay where available to make payments.
  • You can set up the service app-by-app, or choose to set it up for use across apps (Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp).
  • Real-time customer support via live chat in the US.

User Data Breach Incidents

Almost everyone remembers the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal happened last year where user info had been used without their consent for political purposes. Later on, in early 2019 another incident took place where two third party developers posted the records in plain sight. The personal data of millions of users had been exposed on the public amazon server and it was still showing at the places it shouldn’t have been.


                                                                                                  Image Source – NECN

Service launching timeline

With an aim to provide this service to different social media platforms, the company is planning to roll out Facebook Pay initiative on Messenger and Facebook in the US this week. On this new payment system, Deborah Liu, Facebook’s vice president of marketplace and commerce says, “Over time, we plan to bring Facebook Pay to more people and places, including for use across Instagram and WhatsApp,”. She also added that “Facebook Pay is part of our ongoing work to make commerce more convenient, accessible and secure for people on our apps,” says Liu. “We’ll continue to develop Facebook Pay and look for ways to make it even more valuable for people on our apps.”

Facebook has neither said anything particularly about the international launch of the Facebook Pay nor the launch date. This service will be available in setting section of the Facebook or Messenger app, and it will accept almost all debit cards, credit cards, and PayPal to make transactions. It’s ironic to experience that PayPal is supporting the Facebook Pay initiative given that this was one of the first companies to distance itself from Facebook’s Libra project.

How It Works?

The navigation steps to use Facebook Pay on Facebook or Messenger are as below:

  • Go to “Settings” > “Facebook Pay” on the Facebook app or website
  • Add a payment method
  • Next time you make a payment, use Facebook Pay 

Once this service is available for WhatsApp and Instagram, you can add the same payment system in those apps as well.

The big question – Should we use Facebook Pay?

As Facebook affirms, your banking details are well protected and secure to share on our app. However, given the history of company’s continuous surprises with exposing our personal data without our consent, we are certainly skeptical. Do we want to go ahead and share our details with the entity which had miserably failed to keep our data secure? In between the announcement and the launch date, the big question is, are we going to use Facebook Pay? And if yes, where does the credibility stand?

The best thing I could possibly find is that it won’t automatically update the Facebook Pay on our apps unless we choose to do so.

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