Facebook might be planning to integrate an in-store mobile payment option to let users make purchases via its Messenger app. The company is working on turning Messenger into the retail hub, providing customers with an access to a wide range of services.
According to The Information, it has seen the source code of the app, which unveiled some features that are planned to be integrated soon.
The code for the app reportedly contains such commands as “pay in person” and “pay directly in Messenger when you pick up the item’, suggesting that Facebook may be developing an in-store purchase option.
Alongside the payment feature, Facebook might also add a new ‘Secret conversations’ option, probably referencing encrypted chats, which are now available in Telegram, WhatsApp and other messaging apps. Currently, Messenger encrypts messages between the device and the company’s server, where they can be easily taken out and used by law enforcement authorities.
The new payment option will help Facebook to significantly expand its customer base. The number of Messenger users has already surpassed 1 billion mark. The service would also become an additional source of revenue for the company.
At the same time, Facebook would face a serious competition from Android Pay and Apple Pay, the leading mobile payment providers. The feature, however, is likely to reach broad usage, partly due to a large number of businesses registered on Facebook, which could use Messenger as a transaction app. Last year, the platform had 40 million small business pages.
Facebook did not give any comments regarding the new features. In January, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company is not planning to become a mobile payments processor. “On payments, the basic strategy that we have is to make it – especially in products like Messenger where the business interaction may be a bit more transactional – to take all the friction out of making the transactions that you need,” he said at the time.
In general, Facebook is committed to make Messenger more useful and integrate more services into the platform. The company has recently teamed up with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to let users of the app receive updates on flight status, check-in reminders, boarding passes and flight confirmations. Earlier this month, it announced integration with Lyft, a P2P ridesharing platform. Last year, it partnered with Uber to enable customers get a ride and pay for the service directly from the messaging app.