Facebook kicks off financial unit in another bid to capture digital payments, commerce
Facebook Inc. has a new payments group with a familiar face.
David Marcus, co-creator of the company’s Libra cryptocurrency project, will head Facebook Financial, an initiative to run all payments projects, including Facebook Pay, a feature it plans to build inside all of its apps.
Former Upwork Inc. UPWK, -2.55% Chief Executive Officer Stephane Kasriel will serve as a payments vice president under Marcus, who continues to run Novi, a Facebook FB, -2.02% division that is building a digital wallet to hold the Libra cryptocurrency.
News of Facebook’s latest effort to bring its individual products and apps closer together didn’t move investors. Company shares, which set a record last week, are down 2.3% to $262.23 in Monday afternoon trade.
“We have a lot of commerce stuff going on across Facebook,” Marcus said, according to a Bloomberg story, where the development was first reported. “It felt like it was the right thing to do to rationalize the strategy at a company level around all things payments.”
Facebook hasn’t yet made an official announcement about its Facebook Financial initiative.
Marcus, who joined Facebook in 2014 after serving as president of PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, -2.67%, was in charge of Facebook Messenger for four years before taking on the Libra project.
Facebook created the new payments group so that its billions of members can easily make purchases on Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger and spend more time on the company’s digital properties, thus enhancing advertising.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he was “quite excited” about commerce inside of messaging apps during the company’s second-quarter earnings call last month. “As payments grow across Messenger and WhatsApp, and as we’re able to roll that out in more places, I think that that will only grow as a trend,” he said