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Facebook P2P Service Goes Nationwide (July 1, 2015)

Facebook’s mobile P2P payments service now is available throughout the U.S., the social media giant announced this week. The company revealed the news in a status update by David Marcus, Facebook’s head of messaging products. The P2P service, which operates through Facebook’s popular Messenger mobile app, debuted in March, with a phased rollout that included users in cities, such as Seattle, Portland, Ore., and Austin, Texas. The service launched in the New York City metro area early last month.

With more than 700 million registered users, Facebook Messenger represents a sizable potential market for the P2P service—and that potential expanded last week, when the company announced it would begin allowing people in the U.S. and Canada who don’t have a Facebook account to begin using Messenger. The move could bolster Facebook’s position in the crowded P2P market, where established players like PayPal and Venmo are competing for users along with financial services that are tapping Fiserv’s Popmoney and newer entrants, including Twitter and Snapchat. But Facebook executives have suggested the company isn’t viewing P2P as a revenue stream directly. Instead, Facebook could use the P2P platform to enable users to pay advertisers and e-merchants selling through the social network. Carol Coye Benson, a founding partner of Glenbrook Payments consultancy, wrote in a blog post at the launch of Facebook’s P2P platform that it has immense potential for cross-border transactions, as well.

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