What is Facebook Pay and how to use it

Facebook Pay is Facebook’s attempt to make moving money online easier and safer. You can use it as an app to send money to split the bill with friends, or as a service to order things online.

Facebook introduced Facebook Pay on November 12, 2019. The payment platform has existed on Facebook and Messenger before, but only now has Facebook announced plans to bring it to other apps and websites like WhatsApp and Instagram.

The new idea with Facebook Pay compared to the old way Facebook allowed online payments is that you can use the payment method across all of their apps. By signing up and choosing a payment method, you can easily buy items and exchange money with recipients in any of their apps.

Where Facebook Pay works

Facebook Pay currently works on Facebook and Messenger, but will also appear on Instagram and WhatsApp. It works on all platforms, so you can use it on these websites or through mobile apps.

Currently, Facebook Pay is only available to users in the US, but Facebook plans to roll it out to other countries later.

What is Facebook Pay for?

Facebook Pay serves two purposes depending on where you use it – to pay people and to buy things online.

Here’s what you can do (eventually after implementation) with Facebook Pay in each of the Facebook apps:

  • Facebook: buy things on Facebook Marketplace, donate to fundraisers you support, buy games and tickets to events.
  • Messenger: Pay friends and family from your phone or computer.
  • Instagram: Gift and order items from brands you follow.
  • WhatsApp: Send and receive money just like Messenger.

How to use Facebook Pay

The easiest way to get started with Facebook Pay is to try sending someone money.

  • Open a conversation with the person you want to send money to or receive money from.
  • Tap the menu with four dots to the left of the text field. It can be an arrow if the keyboard is open. This button is a plus sign on computers.
  • Select Pay a friend. Click the money icon if you are using the desktop version of the site.
  • Enter an amount and an optional note, then select one REQUEST or PAY.
  • Add payment information; you can choose ADD DEBIT CARD or ADD PAYPAL. PC users must use a debit card on this screen.
  • Choose a payment method now that you’ve added it to your account.
  • Select PAY or REQUEST to complete the operation. If you have selected PayPal, you will have the option to select the payment method from your account that you would like to use. You can also see which methods are paid and which are free.
  • To return to the screen where you can add a payment method, open the menu in Messenger and select Payments.
  • Then Add a new debit card or PayPal.
  • If you use Messenger on a computer, open the menu, go to Settingsand then select Manage on Facebook from Payments section.

Another way to access your Facebook Pay settings is through the Facebook website.

  • Open Facebook settings and select Payments on the left side and then Account settings at the top
  • To view all your Facebook Pay transactions, open Payment history in Facebook settings or go here.

Facebook Pay vs. PayPal

Should I use Facebook Pay or PayPal? Since both options are available and free for most transactions, this may seem like a tough decision. However, PayPal and Facebook Pay (currently) differ significantly in functionality.

Here’s a quick overview of PayPal and Facebook Pay:

  • PayPal works in more stores
  • Facebook Pay is easier to set up
  • PayPal works in other countries
  • Facebook Pay does not charge fees
  • PayPal does not require a Facebook account

Facebook Pay is great for sending money to friends and family. All you need is your debit card number and you can easily make payments from any conversation. In its current form, Facebook Pay is simply peer-to-peer payment platform. In fact, you can’t buy anything for it.

This is where PayPal is different. As you may already know, many online stores and even brick-and-mortar stores allow you to pay with PayPal. All your payment information is stored in your account and you can simply pay with your PayPal account to buy things safely and quickly.

Another difference, which is really only relevant for a short time, is that Facebook Pay requires you to have a Facebook account. This is because you need to set up an account through Facebook or Messenger. However, once Facebook makes Facebook Pay available to WhatsApp and Instagram users, you will be able to use the service without even having a Facebook account.

If you don’t have a Facebook account or don’t like using one, your only option (between these two payment platforms) is PayPal.

Another difference between Facebook Pay and PayPal is that there is currently no charge for using the former. On the other hand, PayPal takes a percentage of some transactions.

PayPal also has the advantage that you can use it in more than 200 countries/regions and exchange money in more than two dozen currencies. Facebook Pay only works with US dollars and is only available in the US (although they will expand in the future).

That being said, PayPal doesn’t have the super-fast setup that Facebook Pay has. If your friend doesn’t have Facebook Pay, but you want to send or request money from them, they can enable payments from their account in just a minute or two; The PayPal setup process is not that fast.

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