Report: Facebook Messenger might become your new mobile wallet
Facebook plans to let people buy products in physical stores using Messenger, according to a report by The Information.
For the past year, Facebook has been trying to make Facebook Messenger way more than a messaging app. It’s begun letting businesses send receipts and shipping notifications, brands operate chat bots and people send money to one another. Apparently, Facebook plans to also make Messenger a way for people to buy things in brick-and-mortar stores.
According to a report published by The Information on Monday, the source code for Facebook Messenger’s app “includes commands allowing a user to ‘pay in person’ or ‘pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item’ with ‘no cash needed.’” In other words, Facebook Messenger wants to become the new PayPal.
The idea of Facebook Messenger doubling as a digital wallet may not be so surprising, considering the person running Messenger, David Marcus, had served as PayPal’s president before Facebook poached him in June 2014.
Marcus spent three years at the pioneering digital payments company, having joined in 2011 as VP and general manager of mobile. It just so happens that 2011 was when the mobile wallet space was starting to become a thing. That year, Google introduced Google Wallet, and PayPal constructed a showroom in New York City called PayPal Shopping Showcase that demoed how the payment service’s mobile app could be used to — ahem — pay in person and pay through the app when picking up an item with no cash needed.
But Messenger wants to be more than a messaging app and mobile wallet. The Information also reported that the service’s source code includes language around being able to sync calendars to Messenger and share parts of articles through the app. Marketing Land had previously reported that Facebook plans to open up Messenger as a distribution channel for publishers and will announce the move at its annual developer conference, F8, in April.