David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s Messenger service, dropped a bombshell yesterday at a major technology industry gathering in San Francisco. The popular message service that has more than 1 billion users will now allow people to make payments directly rather than first having to reroute to a external site, said Marcus at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2016.
According to TechCrunch authors John Constine and Sarah Perez, the ability to make purchases instantly to Messenger bots is in a beta-release platform that includes some 34,000 developers and 30,000 bots, which in best-case scenarios can replace and improve upon the experience of apps.
The Messenger payment option is not just a Facebook dream — nor is it only fintech companies signing on. The big boys of the payment world are all hopping on board.
“To support payments in Messenger, Marcus says that the company is working with all the major players in the industry including Stripe, PayPal, Braintree, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express — not just Stripe and PayPal, which the Facebook developer blog post mentioned,” states the exclusive report from TechCrunch.
The adoption rate and success of the Messenger payment method will likely depend upon the quality of the bots that process the transactions. Marcus admitted that the early returns on this new Facebook initiative were not as good as the company expected. He suggested that this was likely due to a rushed rollout that didn’t give developers enough time to work out the glitches in their designs.
“While some bots — like those focused on delivering news — have done well, others have needed a lot of work to offer a compelling experience,” wrote TechCrunch.
With new payment options and innovations seeming to be announced daily in the fintech space, adding one more to the mix isn’t always major news. But when the push is coming from Facebook — with its peerless ability to shape the future — the entire financial services world must pay attention.