Meta recently announced that it was rebranding its payments system Facebook Pay to Meta Pay, with CEO Mark Zuckerberg promising future metaverse-friendly features. But how close is Meta Pay to realising this?
Facebook Pay’s rename: Does Meta Pay work in the metaverse?
At present, the newly renamed Meta Pay allows users to make purchases, send money and donate to charitable causes on Facebook in all the countries it serves, as well as Instagram in several territories and WhatsApp or Messenger in a small number of additional markets.
Meta Pay’s rename has not yet come with additional features, although Mark Zuckerberg did outline future additions in a Facebook post, saying the company was working on making it “a wallet for the metaverse that lets you securely manage your identity, what you own, and how you pay”.
He said that the future wallet would include the ability to store digital metaverse items such as clothing, art and music, suggesting it will have the ability to store NFTs. However, he did not provide a timescale for when such features would be added.
How does Meta Pay compare to its rivals?
As it stands, Meta Pay remains outpaced by some of its rivals in a number of ways. In ecommerce, while PayPal, Apple Pay and to a lesser extent Google Pay are widely accepted online, Meta Pay remains largely limited to its own ecosystem of websites and apps. There has been an attempt to move beyond this, such as with a partnership with Shopify, but Meta has far more work to do if it wants to take a sizeable slice of this market.
Notably, the service does not currently include the ability to hold either fiat currency or crypto, with recipients of P2P payments needing to add a card in order to receive money they are sent. By contrast, PayPal has this service natively, while Apple can support this in some markets with the use of Apple Cash. Apple also has the ability to store documents such as tickets and passes, which Meta Pay currently does not support.
It seems that Meta has decided to focus on creating a new market for Meta Pay to dominate – the metaverse – rather than focusing on taking share of the highly competitive current market. However, for that to pay off, the metaverse not only needs to take off, but Meta needs to successfully establish itself as the payments platform of choice in the space, despite competition from the crypto arena.