Facebook Payments are Coming to Europe as Social Network Secured an E-money License in Ireland

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Facebook Payments are Coming to Europe as Social Network Secured an E-money License in Ireland
Facebook Inc. has secured an e-payments license from the Central Bank of Ireland, signalling that the ability to pay people through its Messenger application could soon be coming to EU countries. Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

The social network giant has got an e-money license from the Central Bank of Ireland, thus allowing its customers in Europe to pay via its Messenger app.

Facebook Messenger becomes available in Europe, a year after the service was first launched in the US. According to the state bank’s register, the license was approved on the 24th of October.

The system, which was introduced in 2015, allows users to send money to their friends on its platform. The app is steadily growing and can already boats more than one billion users.  There have also been reports that the company is working on making its Facebook payments service available for businesses.

Facebook official confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is planning to launch the Messenger in the European Union. “Facebook Payments International Ltd. (FBPIL) is pleased to confirm we have been approved authorization as an electronic money institution by the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).”

“The license enables us to roll out products like charitable donations on Facebook or peer-to-peer payments via Messenger in Europe, as we have in the U.S. The license authorizes FBPIL to issue donations from Facebook users to charities registered in the European Economic Area (EEA) only; and peer-to-peer payments, within the EEA,” the official said.

As Ireland is currently a member of the EU, Facebook payments option can operate in all the other 27 EU member states.

François Briod, the founder of money transfer comparison site Monito, told TechCrunch: “It the short term, it means that Facebook Messenger will be able to roll out its peer-to-peer payment features in Europe. It could compete with the likes of Paym or Barclays’ Pingit in the UK, but most likely also democratize peer-to-peer mobile payments which did not take off as quickly as in the US.”

As Barclays told CoinTelegraph, its Pingit service demonstrated a significant growth lately and now serves over 1.3 million users in the UK alone. “During 2012 alone, Barclays recruited more new accounts using Barclays Pingit than through its online account opening process,” then bank said.

According to Briod, there are now two options for Facebook. The company can either enable cross-border transfers in euro or facilitate cross-currency transactions to let clients in Europe to send funds to countries outside of the EU. The launch of cross-currency payments will allow users in the UK to send payments to users in the EU in the same messaging app.

A few months ago, Facebook updated its Messenger platform to allow users make payments without leaving the system. The new functionality enabled customers to easily acquire goods and services directly through the Facebook payments app. Besides, the option will allow the social network to monetize Messenger, which has more than a billion users.

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