What Is Facebook Pay & How Does It Work?
By now, you’ve probably heard of Facebook Pay — yet another new way of sending and receiving money. People use it most often to transfer funds between family and friends, but can it also be a good option for online businesses?
The answer is yes, it can. Read on to learn more about Facebook Pay, then decide whether it’s right for your own small business.
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What Is Facebook Pay?
Let’s face it: People are doing more and more of their shopping online. And anything that makes it easier for them to find and pay for the things they need sounds mighty attractive.
Launched in 2019, Facebook Pay is still a relatively small service — but one with big plans for growth. Right now, it’s available in the United States on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, and it’s also available, primarily through Facebook, in some other countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East as well as Canada. Plans are underway to add Facebook Pay to WhatsApp soon.
If you’re already using Facebook or Instagram as a part of your online sales strategy, it’s worth taking a look at Facebook Pay. After all, the more payment options you give your customers, the easier it can be to make sales to them.
How Does Facebook Pay Work?
Facebook Pay works in a fashion similar to other friend-to-friend payment options, like Venmo and Zelle. The difference (right now at least) is that Facebook Pay is available only to people who use Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.
When people sign up for Facebook Pay, they agree to let Facebook store their credit or debit card information. That means they won’t have to pull out their wallet and enter all those numbers each time they want to make a purchase or donation within a Facebook setting. Facebook Pay works for:
- Friend-to-friend payments
- Donations to charity and friends’ fundraisers
- Purchases on Instagram
- Purchases on Facebook’s Marketplace
- In-app game purchases
- Tickets for events
When you sign up for Facebook Pay and enter a valid credit card, debit card, or Facebook gift card, you’ll be able to exchange payments with people in your network and make contributions to their fundraisers. And they can do the same with you, all without leaving the Facebook or Messenger app or having to enter their information each time they want to buy.
Does Facebook Pay Cost A Fee?
If you’re tired of watching processing fees from third-party providers eat away at your profit margin, you’re going to love Facebook Pay. You’ll never pay any fees to send or receive payments this way.
When Should You Use Facebook Pay?
Facebook Pay is a simple, seamless, and secure payment option for anyone who uses Facebook or Instagram to pay for purchases, donate, or send money to friends and connections. It makes sense to use Facebook Pay when:
1) When You Have Something To Sell
- List your handmade items or the unique things you offer for sale through your business. Post pictures and information on your Facebook or Instagram page, then invite your friends and followers to send you payment via Facebook Pay.
- Post a link to your online store. Let your friends and followers know the kinds of things you’re offering, then tell them where they can go to get more details. Tell them how they can contact you to place an order — direct message and posting a reply on your page are two easy options — and let them know Facebook Pay is an easy way to exchange payment.
2) If You See Something You Want To Buy
- You’ve been browsing through Facebook Marketplace and found something you can’t resist. Message the seller and ask if he or she accepts Facebook Pay, then send payment quickly and conveniently, for free.
- A page you follow posts an announcement about a new item for sale. Send a direct message or post a reply indicating your interest, and ask if you can send payment via Facebook Pay. It’s a fast, free, and safe way to complete your purchase.
3) When You Want To Support A Fundraiser
- A Facebook or Instagram friend posts information about a birthday fundraiser for a worthy cause. Don’t worry about finding your wallet. If you’ve signed up for Facebook Pay, your credit or debit card information is already stored, so you can support your friend and the good cause without going to any trouble.
- A nonprofit you follow posts on its page about a special need or donation drive. Or maybe you are just feeling generous and want to make a donation even when the group isn’t asking for anything right now. It’s easy to support the causes you care about when you are signed up for Facebook Pay.
4) If You Owe Money To A Friend
- You went out for dinner and split the check? No problem. If your friend is on Instagram or Facebook, you can use Facebook Pay to transfer cash to cover your share of the bill before you’ve even left the restaurant.
Sending Money Via Facebook Pay
Using Facebook Pay is pretty easy, whether you’re the one sending or receiving money. The first thing you’ll need to do is sign up for the service. So head on over to your Facebook account settings — you can get there by clicking on the triangle at the top right of your screen. (It’s probably right next to the notifications icon.) Next, click Settings and then scroll down until you see Facebook Pay in the menu on the left side of the screen. If you want to use Facebook Pay on Instagram, go to Settings, then Orders and Payments, to enter your payment method. If you’ve already saved payment information to either Facebook or Instagram, that payment method will be available to Facebook Pay right away.
Facebook says that more than 99% of payments are processed immediately, and any payments that don’t process are reviewed within 24 hours.
Receiving Money Via Facebook Pay
If you want to set up your own account so that you can receive payments via Facebook Pay, the first step is to sign up for the service yourself. Your next steps will depend on how you’re using your social media account to sell.
If You Sell Only To Your Contacts…
Many small businesses sell successfully on Facebook and Instagram using simple techniques. If your sales plan involves posting information and photos about items you have for sale and then connecting with your friends and followers who indicate interest, you can ask them to pay via Facebook Pay.
If You Sell On Facebook Marketplace…
Once you connect with someone who is interested in purchasing an item from you via Facebook Marketplace, you can use Messenger to set up payment using Facebook Pay.
If You Have A Facebook Or Instagram Store…
Facebook Pay is designed for individual use, according to a Facebook representative. So it’s not available as an official payment option for your online store. However, you can connect with your customers through your page or via Messenger to set up payment using Facebook Pay.
No matter how you arrive at the point of sale, once you have someone interested in buying something from you online, let the buyer know that you can accept Facebook Pay. The buyer can arrange payment via Messenger.
And once your buyer sends payment via Facebook Pay, how long will it take until you receive the money? Facebook says that more than 99% of payments are processed immediately, and any payments that don’t process are reviewed within 24 hours. The money will be transferred to your registered account right away, although it’s up to your bank to post funds to your account.
Is It Safe To Send & Receive Payments With Facebook?
Beyond that, these measures have been put in place to protect Facebook Pay users’ information:
- Anti-Fraud Technology Monitoring: You’ll be alerted if unauthorized activity is detected.
- Customer Support: Report unauthorized transactions via email 24/7 or by live chat between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., Pacific Time.
- Data Security: Payment data is encrypted for storage, and payment methods are not shared with buyers, sellers, or merchants without consent, and payment information is stored separately from account data.
- Verification Methods: Use a PIN or biometric devices like fingerprints or facial recognition, whatever you use to protect your device.
- Transaction Notifications: Receive in-app notifications when transactions process.
- Privacy Related To Purchases: Transactions are confidential and not shared to users’ Newsfeeds, unless they choose to share
Facebook Pay VS PayPal
Facebook Pay can be a convenient payment option under some circumstances. However, compared to a bigger payment processing system like PayPal, Facebook Pay is probably best suited for small online businesses without an official storefront who rely on one-on-one contact with buyers through social media or who sell at least occasionally in person (at craft fairs or farmer’s markets, for instance) and want a fast, convenient, and no-fee way to accept money from customers.
Of course, there are other no-fee options you can use, too. An online service like Venmo or Zelle offers many of the same benefits — quick, secure, and free payment with fast delivery — without limiting your audience to those who use Facebook and Instagram.
For bigger businesses or for those that want to open an online store, choosing an option like PayPal may be a better move for you. Of course, if you start taking payments through PayPal, be aware that you’ll have to give PayPal a portion of each sale.
Should You Use Facebook Pay For Your Business?
With so many easy and convenient options for taking payments online, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. The good news is, you really don’t have to choose just one. Because you can set up a free account on Facebook Pay, and you can receive payments with no fees, you don’t really have anything to lose by trying it out.
If you regularly connect with customers on Facebook or Instagram, let them know about all the payment methods you can accommodate. After all, the easier you make it for the customer to pay, the more likely you are to complete the sale and pocket the money.