Facebook has created a new team to focus on the company’s payments-related projects, including Facebook Pay. The team is internally called F2, which is short for Facebook Financial, Bloomberg reports. David Marcus, co-creator of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, will lead the team.
Marcus, who previously served as the president at PayPal, joined the social media giant in 2014. He initially worked in the Facebook Messenger team before taking up the Libra project two years ago. He currently leads a team that is building the Novi digital wallet (formerly Calibra) to hold the Libra cryptocurrency. According to the report, he will continue to work on that project as well. Additionally, he will also be an integral part of the WhatsApp payments team.
Facebook is essentially looking to unify all its financial services under one roof. This new group will house all such projects. The company has also hired Stephane Kasriel, a former CEO of freelancing platform UpWork, to work as the vice president of the team under Marcus.
Facebook doubles down on its payments efforts
Facebook has been pursuing payments and commerce opportunities for some time now. The Menlo Park, California based social media giant launched Facebook Pay in November last year. The service, initially available on Facebook and Messenger, allows users to pay for fundraisers, in-game purchases, and event tickets, as well as make person-to-person payments directly from within the app.
The service expanded to WhatsApp in Brazil in June this year, though it faces some regulatory hurdles there. The company now plans to roll out Facebook Pay on Instagram in the coming weeks. Starting in the United States, it will gradually expand to other countries in the future.
In the meantime, the company has formed a team to unify payments on its Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp platforms under one roof. This will include its Libra cryptocurrency project as well.
“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.”
The new team already has a major task at hand. Facebook has invested heavily in its WhatsApp payments service in India and Brazil but regulation has stalled those efforts. The team’s priority will be to try and get a payments service running inside WhatsApp in those two countries, according to the report.
“As payments grow across Messenger and WhatsApp, and as we’re able to roll that out in more places, I think that that will only grow as a trend,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call last month.