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Facebook to Pose Threat to PayPal?

A tweet from developer and Stanford student Andrew Aude caught the attention of TechCrunch and others when he posted, “@Facebook Messenger has P2P payments coming. @SquareCash style.”

Facebook gave away its intentions when it hired David Marcus away from PayPal in June, and people have been talking about the possibility of Facebook getting into ecommerce and payments for years now. In 2011, we noted Facebook had created a subsidiary called Facebook Payments and was supposedly laying the groundwork for a platform that extended beyond processing of virtual goods and developer and ad payments.

In 2009, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg told InsideFacebook he thought payments had the potential to be really important and said he was optimistic.

So what is Facebook Messenger? Facebook explains it’s a text-messaging app that lets you “reach friends wherever they are now.”

TechCrunch talked to Aude and explained, “Messenger’s payment option lets users can send money in a message similar to how they can send a photo. Users can add a debit card in Messenger, or use one they already have on file with Facebook. An in-app pincode also exists for added security around payments.” The blog goes on to give context to what it means and what Facebook is doing in payments.

And it believes this could go beyond P2P payments, “as Facebook’s also working on a Buy button for making ecommerce purchases straight from the News Feed.”

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.