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Facebook Pay: a new p(l)ayer on the market

Is Facebook Pay a big threat or a great opportunity for brands? With payments integrated into the social media giant, Facebook can provide a seamless and easy way to send payments for both commercial and personal reasons. Discover how it works and how the new payment method affects online brand protection.

Cash or credit card? This simple question often asked at checkouts all over the world became a lot more complicated over the last few years. New payment options keep emerging, and in addition to the classic cash or credit card, we can now choose Apple Pay, PayPal, Google Pay, Stripe, or many other options.

Like Facebook Pay.

What is Facebook Pay

Launched in 2019, Facebook Pay is a payment option provided by the social media giant in four of its apps: Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. The service is available in various countries including the US, the UK, Germany, France, Algeria, South Africa, Australia, and Japan.

Screenshot of Homepage of pay.facebook.com
Screenshot of Homepage of pay.facebook.com

Not all countries on the list can use all the apps for Facebook Pay: for example, users in the US can pay via Facebook or Messenger, while those in Germany can use Facebook or Instagram. WhatsApp payments are currently only available in Brazil.

However, the rollout is nowhere near finished; Facebook encourages users to regularly check back to see if the service has become available in their country or on another app.

How it works

There are three main scenarios where Facebook Pay can be used: purchasing something on a social media marketplace (in this case, Facebook or Instagram obviously), sending money to friends and family, or donating to a charitable cause.

All you have to do is link your credit card or PayPal account information to your social media account. After that, you’ll be able to directly pay for your purchases on Facebook’s or Instagram’s marketplace, or donate to a charity through their Facebook page. You can use Messenger or WhatsApp to send money to your friends.

Screenshot of ways to pay with Facebook Pay presented on pay.facebook.com
Screenshot of ways to pay with Facebook Pay presented on pay.facebook.com

Facebook promises secure transactions powered by anti-fraud monitoring, heightened data security and 24/7 customer support. PIN numbers or the built-in biometric scanners of your device (e.g. fingerprint or facial recognition) ensure that your financial data is safe on Facebook Pay.

Besides consumers, this service can be useful for charities with an active Facebook page, as well as businesses present on the Facebook and Instagram marketplaces.

With such a wide environment (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger) to test the payment service, it’s safe to assume that if successful, the payment option will be seen as another vertical of the company. And as such, it can be rolled out to standalone webshops in the future, as it happened in the case of Google and Amazon.

Risks and side effects

New payment methods always bring certain risks with them. The trust of customers is the key component of any payment system; after all, giving your money to someone means you’re trusting the person or service to do with the money exactly what you agreed upon.

But since a new payment method doesn’t have a history of trust behind it as an older one, users of the method have to accept some initial risks that the system will indeed work as advertised.

New payment methods mean new risks for online brand protection experts too, albeit for very different reasons.

Payments and brand protection

Payments have a very important role in brand protection. They provide a key contact point between seller and buyer, which is a vital clue for discovering the seller’s identity.

Some payment methods, like bank transfers are definitely more helpful in our investigations because they give us a name (and potentially, even the address) of the recipient. Other payment methods, like PayPal or fulfilment by eBay provide less or no information about the actual seller, which is a problem when it comes to identifying them and holding them accountable for infringing a brand’s copyright.

This is why online brand protection experts like globaleyez have to establish good working relationships with payment providers. Facebook Pay will be no exception.

Luckily, we don’t have to start from scratch. We already have a good working relationship with Facebook, due to our marketplace and social media monitoring services. Inserting Facebook Pay into that relationship will allow us to follow payments to sellers that infringe the copyright of our clients.

Conclusion

Integrated payment methods provide a faster, more seamless shopping experience to customers online. However, these methods don’t come without risks: fraudulent sellers may exploit the relative anonymity provided by PayPal, Facebook Pay, and the likes. Online brand protection experts have to establish a close working relationship with new payment providers to ensure that no copyright infringing seller can get away with fraud.

Reach out to globaleyez and find out how we can help you.

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