Facebook begins beta testing a prepaid recharge feature on Messenger as it prepares to enter the payments market in India

What Facebook is attempting to achieve here is to allow users to be able to buy and sell products or services without having to leave its app ecosystem.

Facebook has been frantically trying to rebuild lost faith in users following the Cambridge Analytica scandal but that has not stopped it from attempting to make its move into the digital payments space in India.

Facebook Messenger logo. Image: Facebook

Facebook Messenger logo. Image: Facebook

Amidst increasing competition from the likes of Paytm, Google Tez, Amazon Pay and PhonePe, Facebook has just begun beta testing a feature which lets Messenger users recharge mobile phones and other prepaid services. This, as per a report by FactorDaily will soon branch out to allow peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant payments.

For those wondering whether this is the same as Facebook owned WhatsApp and its adoption of UPI for payments, a Facebook source claims that this a separate platform and will be limited to payments on Messenger and the Facebook Marketplace. What Facebook is attempting to achieve here is to allow users and businesses to be able to buy and sell products or services to others without having to leave the Messenger or the Facebook app.

Facebook introduced peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant transactions on Messenger in the US last year. Image: Facebook

Facebook introduced peer-to-peer and peer-to-merchant transactions on Messenger in the US last year. Image: Facebook

However, Facebook's foray into the digital payments space here as an independent entity is not new. Last year, Facebook added peer-to-peer payments on Messenger in the US followed by the UK and France. But analysts speaking to FactorDaily believe that mobile payments will expand exponentially in India and China over the coming years.

As for choosing prepaid recharges as the first step forward, a Facebook source believes that recharge is a good way for the social media giant to test the market. No word of a stable release of the feature yet but if the testing phase goes as planned for Facebook, payments on Messenger could be a thing soon.




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