Facebook today announced the establishment of a new department “Facebook Financial” (Facebook Finance), responsible for all the company’s payment projects. Analysts said the move highlighted Facebook’s business ambitions.
Facebook said that Facebook Financial (internally referred to as “F2”) will be responsible for all the company’s payment projects, including Facebook Pay, which is a universal payment function that Facebook plans to build in all of its applications .
The department will be led by David Marcus, co-founder of Facebook’s digital cryptocurrency project “Libra”. At the same time, Marcus will continue to lead the Facebook digital wallet service “Novi” (formerly “Calibra”). In addition, Marcus will also be responsible for WhatsApp’s payment business in countries such as India and Brazil.
In addition, Facebook has hired Stephane Kasriel, the former CEO of Upwork Inc, the world’s largest freelance work platform, as the vice president of payment business, reporting to Marcus.
This is Facebook’s latest effort to bring products and applications closer together at the company level. In the past two years, Facebook has renamed Instagram and WhatsApp to let people know that they belong to Facebook, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (Mark Zuckerberg) also announced plans to integrate all of the company’s instant messaging services.
Marcus said today: “Across the entire Facebook platform, we have a lot of business elements. I think it is correct to rationalize the strategy around all payments at the company level.”
Facebook’s idea is that if users can make purchases on Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, then Facebook’s ads will become more valuable and users will spend more time on Facebook’s various applications.
In the second quarter earnings conference call last month, Zuckerberg said that he was “quite excited” about the business opportunities within Facebook’s various instant messaging applications. Zuckerberg said: “With the growth of Messenger and WhatsApp payments, as we can launch in more places, I think this will only become a trend.”
Marcus is a veteran in the payment field and a trusted executive within Facebook. He was the president of PayPal and joined Facebook in 2014. Before taking over the Libra project, he managed Facebook Messenger for four years.
Analysts said that one of Marcus’s priorities is to launch WhatsApp payment services in the Indian and Brazilian markets. In these markets, Facebook has invested heavily to make WhatsApp a business destination, but regulatory factors have caused Facebook’s efforts to stall in the two countries mentioned above.
Recently, Marcus has been responsible for getting Libra approved as a cross-border payment method. This requires negotiations with regulators, and this experience may help Facebook’s other payment initiatives.
Marcus said: “Having specific expertise in financial services regulation and building it in the right way from the beginning will be of great help. The financial services industry is very different from traditional technology companies, which are not subject to much Supervision.”