Facebook Messenger is being tested for mobile payments in India: Reports

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Facebook has been in the headlines for all the bad reasons for the past few weeks. After the user privacy violation scandal, the social media giant has been trying to brave the odds by any means possible. According to a recent report, Facebook has been beta testing payments in messenger in India. It is also reported that Facebook is also working on building a payments platform, independent of WhatsApp payments.

Facebook Messenger Mobile Payments Platform: Separate from WhatsApp Payments

The report suggests that the Facebook Messenger payments platform will be separate from WhatsApp’s mobile payments platform. It will allow the user to conduct peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant payments.

Facebook has already launched a beta version of recharge payments for mobile phone along with several other prepaid services on its Messenger platform. The report states, “Recharge is a good way to test the market. The transaction values are small, but the volumes are high.” There have been no comments from Facebook on this.

Facebook Messenger Mobile Payments: Smooth Commercial Transactions

The payments feature is a big opportunity for both Facebook and businesses on Facebook. This will allow buyers and sellers to smoothly conduct any sorts of commercial transactions on Facebook Messenger and Facebook Marketplace. Buying and selling products within Facebook communities would become fairly easy with this feature. Brands can connect, target and transact with users on the Messenger app directly.The users will be able to complete the transaction without having to move out of the app.

India’s Payment Ecosystem Getting Crowded: Facebook To Face Competition

Facebook’s payment move comes in quick succession of the release of WhatsApp payments which is a UPI-based payment service. Since they run as two different entities, there is a huge possibility of Facebook shifting their focus on the payments business from every direction. Facebook launched payments on Messenger in France and UK, last year. The same year in the US, it has also introduced the peer-to-peer money transfer.

However, the Indian market is cluttered with a good number of global and local players – the largest among them being Paytm which is backed by Alibaba. There are Google Tez, Flipkart’s PhonePe, Amazon Pay, and MobiKwik among the others. Furthermore, WhatsApp is also on the move of solving a similar problem in peer-to-merchant and peer-to-peer money transactions. Facebook will have a tough competition while getting the hold of the Indian market.

There is no official timeframe for the public announcement of Messenger payments in India, for now. Stay tuned for further updates and let us know in the comments if this move by Facebook would be a hit.

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A beatboxer in making and an aficionado of animated characters, Gargi grooves on everything fancy that uses science. When not contributing to tech writing, she can be found binging on SNL or sleeping her way through life.