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Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced this week that Facebook Pay has officially been renamed Meta Pay. The current product features and overall user experience that people are used to with Facebook Pay will remain the same across across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger. The change is rolling out in the United States and will then launch globally over time.
Zuckerberg says although the service will remain the same, the rename represents Meta's first step toward creating a digital wallet for the metaverse. He says his vision for a digital wallet in the metaverse will let users securely manage their identities, what they own and how they pay.
"In the future there will be all sorts of digital items you might want to create or buy -- digital clothing, art, videos, music, experiences, virtual events and more," Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post. "Proof of ownership will be important, especially if you want to take some of these items with you across different services. Ideally, you should be able to sign into any metaverse experience and everything you've bought should be right there."
Zuckerberg notes that although this vision won't come to fruition anytime soon, this kind of interoperability will deliver better experiences for people while also bringing larger opportunities for creators. He says the more places people can easily use their digital goods, they more they'll value them, which in turn will create a bigger market for creators. He also noted that users' ability to transact more easily will create bigger opportunities for creators.
Zuckerberg's comments come a few weeks after Meta's head of fintech, Stephane Kasriel, said Meta is in the “very early stages” of considering what a single wallet experience may look like. He said that in terms of its early thinking, Meta is looking at how you can prove who you are and carry that identity into different experiences in the metaverse.
“Our path forward is grounded in our mission to empower everyone, everywhere to access the world’s financial system to accelerate financial inclusion and economic empowerment,” Kasriel had said in a blog post at the time. “Designing products and infrastructure with the metaverse in mind today will help facilitate innovation that delivers greater access and real cost savings — before the metaverse even becomes mainstream. Now is the time to lay down the building blocks for the future. Because once that foundation is in place, the potential of the metaverse, and where it can take fintech next, will be limitless.”
Meta has been in payments since 2009 and says people use its platforms to make payments in 160 countries and 55 currencies, including person to person, business to business and business to consumer payments.
Facebook changed its corporate branding to Meta in October to capture more of the company’s core ambition, which is to build the metaverse. Since then, Meta has started renaming its products to match the new corporate branding. For example, Oculus Quest is now Meta Quest and Facebook Portal is now Meta Portal. It makes sense for Meta to make the change for its payments experience as well, especially as it gears up for the metaverse.