Payments

Novi wants to take on payments as Facebook’s fintech unit

  • Novi will encompass the whole financial services division as Facebook becomes Meta
  • The company eyes being a competitor in the payments industry as it develops its products
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Novi wants to take on payments as Facebook’s fintech unit

Novi is to become Facebook’s fintech unit as the tech company transitions into the metaverse with a new name - Meta, and has its eyes set on challenging the payments industry.

Novi’s leader, David Marcus, announced that the company is unifying its payments and financial services unit and products under the Novi brand. It’s also changing its group name from F2 (Facebook Financial) to Novi.

Facebook’s journey into the financial services industry hasn’t met a lot of success but it didn’t stop the company from rolling out new products in recent months. 

In September, it publicly introduced Invoice Fast Track, paying out some small businesses immediately on their outstanding invoices. It then launched a pilot with Novi in the US and Guatemala, where people can transfer money to each other instantly with no fees. 

Facebook’s financial services include facilitating checkout for merchants and donations, enabling advertisers to easily buy ads, and cross-border payments through the Novi pilot. The company processed over $100 billion in the last 12 months across its products, Marcus added. 

“Some of these products are branded Facebook Pay, some are unbranded, and our wallet operates under the Novi brand. So over time, we will unify all existing and future payments and financial services experiences under the Novi brand,” he noted. 

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In the future, it wants to be a challenger in the payments industry by offering free person-to-person payments with Novi. 

“Once we have a meaningful customer base, we can offer cheaper merchant payments and still make a profit on merchant services. Scaling Novi will take time and this pilot is a great chance for us to learn from our early customers,” Marcus said.

Facebook is also stepping up its payments game for its content creators. It announced that creators can now use Facebook Pay to receive subscription income from fans, in an effort to skirt Apple’s 15% to 30% store fees.  

“We’re offering creators the ability to direct people to a website to complete their subscriptions purchase using Facebook Pay. When people purchase subscriptions from this website on web or mobile, creators will be able to keep 100% of the money they earn, excluding taxes,” it said. 

The company is currently developing Facebook Pay as a payments service for its clients to seamlessly pay through four of its properties: Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. 

While payments on Facebook and Instagram are available in most countries, users can make transactions via Messenger only in Thailand and the US. WhatsApp is used only in Brazil for payments, according to its website.  

“We are rolling out Facebook Pay to countries around the world, with the intention to bring this service to more people over time,” said the company. 

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