Facebook makes most of its revenue from ads, but now that questions are being asked about how it serves these ads, the company is reportedly evaluating new revenue sources. Facebook is testing its payments feature within Messenger in India and has already launched some of the features as part of a trial, says a new report in Factor Daily.
The payments platform integrated within the Facebook Messenger is separate from the similar feature in WhatsApp. As per Factor Daily, the platform will eventually allow “peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant” transactions. In order to gauge response, Facebook has begun testing recharge payments for prepaid services including mobile phones. Recharge is an optimal way of testing a digital payments platform as the transaction volume is high while values are low.
The payments feature will allow users to buy or sell products on the Facebook Marketplace which comprises several user groups dedicated to buying and selling. The feature will also allow users to pay for services connected with Facebook, allowing them to shop from within the Messenger.
The payments features, which was introduced in the UK, the US, and France, has not been too successful. But India is a different story altogether. That’s because India has nearly 10 percent of Facebook’s 2.1 billion-strong user base and is one of the most crucial markets for the company. Secondly, India is the second largest market globally in terms of the number of internet users, and has shown great appetite for digital payments.
As per a recent report by Investment bank Credit Suisse, India’s digital payments is likely to grow five-fold by 2023 and reach a cumulative transaction value of $1 trillion. It also notes that Google’s Tez has resulted in an eight-fold growth in the number of unified payments interface (UPI) transactions. To compete with Tez, WhatsApp recently introduced UPI-based transaction in its beta versions and the feature is likely to make way to the regular version of the app soon.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s payments feature is not meant to compete against WhatsApp but provide support for payments directly via Facebook.