Almost two years down the line, Facebook is taking a big step to expand its payments platform. The company has announced plans to break out Facebook Pay from its own ecosystem to facilitate transactions across the web. Starting in August, US-based customers will be able to make purchases from Shopify-powered businesses using the payment method. When you visit a supported seller, you'll see a Facebook Pay button allowing you to complete a purchase with your saved card or PayPal details.
In that sense, Facebook will be jostling for attention at checkout with rival mobile and digital wallets including Apple Pay and Google Pay. Of course, each has a built-in audience based on preferred hardware, operating system or, in Facebook's case, social network.
Until now, Facebook Pay has been limited to the company's own platforms including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook has pitched it as an expedient way to shop on those apps, split the bill with friends, send money abroad and donate to charities. Expanding Facebook Pay's reach across the web not only boosts its convenience, but also fits into the company's wider ecommerce strategy. In June, Facebook added support for QR codes to the payments platform, enabling users to send money to people outside of their friends group.
At the same time, it has integrated shopping features into its wider ecosystem of social apps to capitalize on the shift to ecommerce. In May, Facebook introduced Shops that turn business pages on its main platform and Instagram into online storefronts. Like Google and Snapchat before it, the company is also turning to visual search to help people discover more shoppable products on Instagram. Not to be left out, WhatsApp also received a shopping button that let users browse a retailer's product catalog.