Facebook kicks off the financial unit in another attempt to capture digital payments

Facebook kicks off the financial unit in another attempt to capture digital payments - StephaneKasrielPhoto 1Former Upwork Inc. CEO Stephane Kasriel will serve as Vice President of Payments under David Marcus, who will head the finance unit

A new team for the digital payments industry

Facebook Inc. has a new team that will take care of payments. They are no new faces in the industry: David Marcus, co-creator of the company's Libra cryptocurrency project, will lead Facebook Financial, an initiative to run all payment processes, including Facebook Pay, a feature it plans to implement. within all Facebook apps.

Former CEO of Upwork Inc. (UPWK, -2,55%) Stephane Kasriel will serve as vice president for payments under Marcus, who meanwhile continues to head Novi, a Facebook division (FB, -2,02%) which is working on the development of a digital wallet to hold the cryptocurrencies of the Libra project.

Investor reaction

The news of Facebook's latest effort to bring its individual products closer to apps hasn't moved investors. The Facebook shares, which set a record last week, fell 2,3% to $ 262,23 in Monday afternoon market moves.

“We have a lot of commercial projects going on on Facebook,” Marcus said. His statements were reported exclusively in a Bloomberg article, in which Facebook's strategy was first reported. "It seemed like it was the right thing to do to streamline the company-wide strategy around all payments."

Facebook's strategy

Facebook has not yet published an official announcement about its financial initiative. Marcus, who joined Facebook in 2014 after being president of PayPal Holdings Inc. (PYPL, -2,67%), was in charge of Facebook Messenger for four years before embarking on the Libra project.

Facebook created the new payments team by making sure that the work took the right direction so that its billions of users could easily make purchases on Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger and spend more time on the company's other digital offerings, thus improving the advertising.

The company launched Facebook Pay, which allows users to send money via its family of apps, to Facebook and Facebook Messenger last November. In the short term, the company intends to roll out Facebook Pay in the US via Instagram in the coming weeks and is currently testing the payment functionality via WhatsApp in Brazil.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was "pretty excited" about trading within messaging apps during the company's second-quarter earnings meeting last month. “By driving the growth of payments on Messenger and WhatsApp and because we are able to implement them in more places, I think it will establish itself as a growing trend,” he said.