(Bloomberg) – Facebook Inc. unveiled a new group to pursue payment and trade opportunities and placed David Marcus, co-creator of his cryptocurrency Libra project, in charge of the initiative.
Named F2 domestically, short for Facebook Financial, the team will execute all payment projects, including Facebook Pay, the universal payment features of the company it plans to build within all of its applications.
Marcus will continue to run Novi, the division that is building a digital portfolio to hold the cryptocurrency Libra. He will also be involved in WhatsApp payment efforts in countries like India and Brazil. Facebook has hired former Upwork Inc. CEO Stephane Kasriel to serve as a vice president of payments under Marcus. Shares on Facebook fell 1.5% to $ 264.26 on Monday, after hitting a record late last week.
This is the final step in a nationwide effort to bring together individual Facebook products and applications. In the past two years, it re-named on Instagram and WhatsApp so that people know they are owned by Facebook, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to integrate all of the company’s messaging services.
“We have a lot of trade stuff going on on Facebook,” Marcus said. “It felt like it was the right thing to do to streamline the strategy in an enterprise company about all the payments of things.”
The belief is that if users can make purchases on Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, then Facebook advertising will grow more valuable, and users will spend more time within the company’s apps. In his second-quarter earnings call on Facebook last month, Zuckerberg said he was “quite excited” about trading within messaging apps. “As payments grow across Messenger and WhatsApp, and as we are able to utilize this in more countries, I think this will only grow as a trend,” he added.
Read more: Facebook’s Zuckerberg revisited for ‘shops’ trade
Marcus is a pay veteran, and a trusted executive within the company. He joined Facebook in 2014 from his role as president of PayPal Holdings Inc., and ran Facebook Messenger for four years before receiving the Book.
One of the advantages will be payment on WhatsApp in India and Brazil. The company has invested heavily to make WhatsApp a trading destination in those markets, but the arrangement has stalled its payment efforts in both countries.
Marcus was recently working to remove the Book from the field as a cryptocurrency to make cross-border payments. This required negotiations with regulators, and the experience could assist in other Facebook payment initiatives.
“Helpful it is helpful to have a specific expertise in regulating financial services to build things right from the benefits,” he said. “In the world of financial services, it’s very different from traditional tech companies that are not regulated.”
(Adds Facebook shares in the third paragraph.)
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