Facebook Friend-To-Friend Payments Paves the Way for Ecommerce Platform

By Tinuiti Team

Facebook secures another brick in their ecommerce infrastructure with the introduction of Friend-to-Friend Payments. The feature, due to release in the US in the coming months across Android, iOS, and desktop will provide users with a convenient way to send or receive money between friends.

How will Facebook Payments work?

The first time users send or receive money in the Messenger, they will need to add a Visa or MasterCard debit card issued by a US bank to their account.

Once they enter a debit card, users can create a PIN to provide additional security the next time they send money.

On iOS devices you can also enable Touch ID and  offers another layer of authentication to secure the account at any time.


Following Facebook’s purchase of the personalized ecommerce search app TheFind and their development of Facebook Product ads, the adoption of payments is a natural fit for the ecommerce direction Facebook is moving towards.

Soon Facebook will be stepping into the same circle as Venmo, Google Wallet, Square Cash and Paypal. The advantage Facebook has is that so many of their users are already linked to the website on a daily basis.

Will users trust Facebook Payments as a transaction feature?

In the wake of security concerns like the Facebook Messenger privacy controversy, how quickly can we expect users to transition to payments?

According to Facebook, security within their payments feature is a top priority:

We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you. We use layers of software and hardware protection that meet the highest industry standards. These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe.

labroi-waltonLa Broi Walton, Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy:

“Over the years, there have been many cases of Facebook users having their accounts hacked (Facebook has made many improvements in this area). Some users still may not fully trust Facebook with their financial information so readily available within their account.  These users probably wouldn’t utilize Facebook Payments or even participate in Facebook ecommerce altogether.

On the second hand, there are going to be other users (more than the users that already participate in Facebook ecommerce) that have a higher level of trust with the Facebook brand and will be more willing to provide Facebook this information than other competitors in this space.

If Facebook and ecommerce continue to blend over time, I could see users finding more comfort making a purchase from a retailer within the Facebook platform rather than going to a retailer’s site, due to convenience and security.”

Will users adopt Facebook Payments?

nii-aheneNii A. Ahene, COO at CPC Strategy:

“People look at Facebook as a place to socialize. It’s challenging to redefine the purpose of an application.

If Facebook is really looking to increase adoption it should be a stand alone application. Still leveraging the Facebook network – a single purpose application would probably be easier to help people understand the value of this.

I do think its a step in the right direction. Everything Facebook is doing is marching towards an orientation around retail and ecommerce. The thing that’s missing from Facebook right now is both a “buy” button and a wallet.

The first step is getting people used to using a Facebook application to send money back and forth. The next step is getting people used to buying things through this and the last step is a wallet or a check out so that all my information about where this package should be sent is stored.

If Facebook is able to hit those three checkpoints with significant adoption, I think that creates an opportunity for them to be very disruptive to the market.”

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