Facebook’s ambition knows no limits. Even though its main business is the social network, it is not opposed to expanding what constitutes “social” to justify its other efforts. It acquired Oculus, for example, to transform virtual reality into a social space and set up its own Marketplace to give a social touch to e-commerce. One of his most recent tricks was to make payment a social activity and is now expanding to physical transfers of money from person to person.
It is almost as if Facebook Pay is taking a step back in terms of payment methods. Of course, it’s not really surprising that it started out as an online and virtual system where you send money through Facebook applications and social media platforms to pay for goods, services or even a restaurant account. At a time when face-to-face interactions, Facebook appears to be launching a feature that will at least make personal payments a little more secure.
You can now send money via Messenger and Instagram, which, of course, works even when you are already in front of each other. It can be a different case, however, if you need to send money or pay someone who may not be in your social circles, such as an impromptu or unplanned meeting. That’s where a QR code comes in handy.
According to MacRumors, the Facebook Pay carousel now includes a “Scan” option that allows you to scan a QR code to initiate the transaction. It does not say if you can really do this for anyone, even if they are not on your friends list. It may take some time to confirm this, however, as the feature still appears to be in limited testing in the U.S.
The big question is whether this new feature will give Facebook Pay a huge boost in popularity. The platform is considered a niche, operating only within Facebook circles and mainly as a means of paying for goods or services on Facebook. Whether it will become a new Venmo or similar, will depend on the success of this new feature.