Facebook forms new group to oversee payments and related financial efforts

Facebook Inc. today said it has formed a new product group to oversee its payments and related financial efforts.

Facebook Inc. today said it has formed a new product group to oversee its payments and related financial efforts.

It’s called F2 internally, short for Facebook Financial. The group, led by David Marcus (pictured), who also leads Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, will oversee all payments projects at the social networking giant, including Facebook Pay, according to Bloomberg.

Marcus will continue running Novi, the digital wallet designed to work with Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency previously known as Calibra, as well as being involved in WhatsApp’s payment efforts in countries such as India and Brazil. Former Upwork Inc. Chief Executive Officer Stephane Kasriel has been tapped as vice president of the division.

“We have a lot of commerce stuff going on across Facebook,” Marcus said. “It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments.”

Facebook launched Facebook Pay in November as a way to let users send money in WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook itself, but it was a standalone effort. By consolidating the various financial projects and services under the one umbrella, Facebook aims for all of them to be eventually more closely integrated.

Whether the idea delivers is another question. Facebook’s efforts in the business have involved a lot of talk and promise so far without any great use rates outside a handful of international markets.

The push into cryptocurrency with Libra, originally headed by Marcus, went from bad to worse for Facebook and the spun-off organization eventually decided to abandon its original plan in favor of a range of currency-backed stablecoins in April. The current status of the project is unclear, although a report from Forbes noted that Novi has applied to the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for a formal payments charter, indicating that some progress is underway behind the scenes.

The cryptocurrency side apart, Facebook is hoping the new product group will be able to deliver opportunities to tap into users for various services. As Bloomberg noted, “The belief is that if users can make purchases on Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, then Facebook’s advertising will grow more valuable and users will spend more time inside the company’s apps.”

siliconangle.com

Facebook forms new group to oversee payments and related financial efforts
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