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Facebook creates unit devoted to financial services

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Aug 11, 2020 - 05:06 AM

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook on Monday said it has created a new unit devoted to financial services to harmonize payment systems on its platform.

The new group, called Facebook Financial, will be headed by e-commerce veteran David Marcus, who was a president at PayPal before joining the leading social network six years ago.

Marcus is one of the creators of Facebook’s digital money network Libra, and heads the team building a Novi digital wallet tailored for the currency.

The Novi wallet — set to launch when Libra coins debut — promises to give Facebook opportunities to build financial services into its offerings, offer to expand its own commerce and let more small businesses buy ads on the social network.

Facebook Financial will handle management and strategy for all payments and money services across the Silicon Valley company’s platform.

“Today various payments features exist across our apps, and we want to make sure decision making, execution and compliance are not fragmented,” Facebook said in an email reply to an AFP inquiry.

“We want to be able to give people the ability to make a payment however they choose — debit, credit or Libra digital currencies.”

Noting security concerns posed by Facebook’s yet-to-be-launched digital currency Libra, the Federal Reserve last week revealed plans for its own instant payments system.

FedNow will provide households and businesses with instant access to payments, for wages, government benefits or sales, without waiting days for checks to clear, the Fed said.

The system, which is not due to launch for two to three years, “will be designed to maintain uninterrupted 24x7x365 processing with security features to support payment integrity and data security,” the central bank said.

Facebook’s announcement last year of plans to design the Libra cryptocurrency and payments system raised immediate red flags for global finance officials who expressed a barrage of withering criticism about the security and reliability of a private network.

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