Facebook Pay is a new mobile payment option for Facebook and Messenger; coming soon to Instagram, WhatsApp

If you have been aching for a new, built-in way to pay for things while using Facebook‘s most popular apps, the social network has something just for you: Facebook Pay.

The new mobile payment option is now official as Facebook has just announced it. According to the announcement, Facebook Pay is a “convenient, secure and consistent payment experience” that’s available in Facebook and Facebook Messenger. It’s coming soon to WhatsApp and Instagram.

The company reiterates how secure and protected the mobile payments are, which isn’t too surprising considering that most people already have a mobile payment option they trust these days, so switching over to a new option, especially one from Facebook, might be a tough sell.

In any event, here are the major bullet points per the announcement today:

  • Add your preferred payment method once then use Facebook Pay where available to make payments and purchases on our apps, instead of having to re-enter your payment information each time
  • Set up Facebook Pay app-by-app, or choose to set it up for use across apps (where available) — that means we won’t automatically set up Facebook Pay across the apps you are active on, unless you choose to do so
  • View payment history, manage payment methods and update your settings in one place
  • Get real-time customer support via live chat in the US (and in more places around the world in the future)
  • Clearly understand which payment services are part of Facebook

The launch of Facebook Pay begins this week in the United States, but with some caveats. The rollout starts with the Facebook app proper, as well as Messenger, but they’ll only be available for fundraisers, ticket purchases, person-to-person (P2P) payments, event tickets, in-game purchases, and purchases made from select Pages and businesses you can find in Facebook Marketplace.

The inclusion of WhatsApp and Instagram will happen in the future, but Facebook doesn’t provide any specifics in that regard just yet.

Here’s how to get it started, if you’re interested in using Facebook Pay and you’re in the United States:

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Facebook Pay” on the Facebook app or website
  2. Add a payment method
  3. The next time you make a payment, use Facebook Pay

Facebook’s announcement says that once Facebook Pay arrives in WhatsApp and Instagram, you’ll be able to set up the mobile payment option directly in each app.

Facebook Pay supports most credit and debit cards, and it also supports PayPal for adding funds. The payments handled by the mobile payment option are done in partnership with Stripe, PayPal, and others.

Security and protections for users is vital for Facebook, so obviously the company is trying to get that across in its announcement. I’m going to just get out of the way and let Facebook pitch it directly:

Facebook has offered trusted payment experiences since 2007, and we’ve processed more than $2 billion in donations alone since we launched our first fundraising tools in 2015.

With Facebook Pay, we’re continuing to invest in security. We designed Facebook Pay to securely store and encrypt your card and bank account numbers, perform anti-fraud monitoring on our systems to detect unauthorized activity and provide notifications for account activity. You can also add a PIN or use your device biometrics, such as touch or face ID recognition, for an extra layer of security when sending money or making a payment. Facebook does not receive or store your device’s biometric information. Learn more about Facebook Pay privacy.

You can check out Facebook Pay’s landing page for more information on the new mobile payment option.

So, Facebook wants to make paying for things on its platforms and apps easier. Do you think you’ll be participating in this effort? It’s not directly competing with Apple Pay, of course, but yet another mobile payment option in 2019 does seem like one too many.