Users of Facebook in Italy have noticed something out of the ordinary recently on Facebook. They’ve noticed a new option on the apps social network that invites them to “Paga con Facebook” meaning, Pay with Facebook. The option has also got a Bitcoin-like logo above it too. Simultaneously, there has been some new rumours which have surfaced about the firm’s plans to enter the crypto space with their new digital currency, Facebook Coin. Even though there hasn’t been an official announcement on the subject by Facebook, hopefully, we aren’t too far away from one.
The news on Facebooks Italian users came from a tech site based in the country, Mobile World. The new payment option has been seemingly made available for both Android and iOS users in the country but isn’t yet available for users in the UK nor users in the US.
According to Mobile World, the new system works similarly to purchases on the Facebook Marketplace where the buyer has to send payment request and then wait for it to be accepted instead of just simply buying it with a single click or tap. Instead of just using funds in your local currency with your bank as with payments on Messenger currently, there is talk that this new functionality will also come with a brand new currency as well.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard that Facebook wants to get involved in the cryptocurrency space but some reports have indicated that Zuckerberg has taken influence from the multi-purpose Chinese based WeChat app. In fact, the supposed Facebook Coin wouldn’t be just used in the firm’s main product (Facebook) but it would be transferred into WhatsApp too (1.5 billion users as 2017) which would be a huge boost to adoption.
WeChat is a strong platform that is like an all-rounder with WeChat Pay being a considerable part of its offering. So it’s quite understandable as to why Facebook would want to take influence from there business model. If Facebook Coin could be a prime part of Facebook, WhatsApp (maybe even Instagram) then the cryptocurrency could see a lot of success.
The biggest challenge that Facebook will face with this is similar to one that it has had for a while now, the trust factor. There is a general lack of trust when it comes to Facebook, with rumours of the social network meddling with the US elections, and several ad scams have occurred over the years on the platform which have all given Facebook a bad name.